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Posh preview: George Graham

Posted on 8 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

George Graham is ready to cross swords again with Barry Fry. The pair first met in a schoolboys' international at Wembley Stadium 40 years ago - now they are opposing managers in a pre-season friendly at Peterborough United's London Road on Tuesday.

It's our seventh friendly in a pre-season programme that has brought five wins out of six and no goals conceded so far. The latest was an impressive 2-0 win at QPR on Saturday.

The boss revealed: "I've known Barry Fry for years. I think we first met in 1960 at Wembley in the schoolboys' international. David Pleat took part as well and I think England beat Scotland 5-2, but I scored a great goal. I've still got the programme amongst my memorabilia.

"Barry has done a great job managerial wise. If you are a small club and finances are the main problem it is very important you have a very good youth policy. Barry Fry has always done that well, exceptionally well. He's been an outstanding manager at smaller clubs."

We profited from Posh's youth development when we signed Matthew Etherington and Simon Davies for a combined L1.2m in January. They made their first appearances as substitutes at Anfield in April and full debuts at Old Trafford in May.

Graham enthused: "I'm delighted that the two boys have made such progress, quicker than even they expected. For them to play at Old Trafford in front of a packed house was outstanding.

"It's great experience for them, knowing full well that there is more to come, more to learn. It will be nice for them to go to Peterborough, remembering where they started their careers and how well they did there. Now they've moved on and their careers are on the up and up at Tottenham.

"They are ambitious, level-headed lads and fully committed. That's the type of player I want to bring to Tottenham. Obviously they are also both very talented as well and the only thing they are lacking now is experience. That will happen. We've just got to make sure we don't rush them and bring them through when it is right for them and the team as well."

The boss has been delighted with pre-season so far and added: "What is encouraging is the atmosphere in the dressing room and the boys' attitude on the training pitch.

"They've all worked very hard and the Swedish trip was highly successful, the new boys got to know one another and it's all about me putting down my philosophy and what's expected of them this season.

"We've another tough game at Peterborough which if you met them in the cup, a lot of people would expect a hiccup. We'll approach it in the right manner like we have in the last couple of games."