Posh delay Craddock Pompey comeback

Tom Craddock training with his Pompey team-mates last season
Tom Craddock training with his Pompey team-mates last season
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

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Peterborough’s desire for a spell in the Spanish sun has wrecked Tom Craddock’s Pompey comeback.

The striker was set for his Blues return in today’s reserve fixture against the Posh following 13 months out with a knee problem.

Yet Darren Ferguson’s side yesterday pulled out of the match – to instead spend five days on a Spanish training camp.

On Sunday the League One club flew out to Marbella with 22 players and eight of the management team in a bid to kick-start their season.

It also meant pulling out of the scheduled Final Third Development League clash with Pompey at their Copnor Road training base.

Disappointment then for Craddock, who had been pencilled in to play the full 90 minutes for Paul Hardyman’s side.

The former Oxford striker’s last appearance was against Southend on November 26, 2013.

In Andy Awford’s maiden game of his first spell as caretaker boss, Craddock played 81 minutes in the 2-1 Fratton Park defeat.

Since then he has battled back from a serious knee injury to put himself back in the frame to represent the Blues.

James Dunne and Danny East were also down to feature in the reserve fixture, with Pompey eager to give players match action having not played since December 28 against Luton.

And for Hardyman, the cancellation has come as a disappointment.

He said: ‘It has come as a bit of a surprise, we were told yesterday Peterborough are now instead away in Spain.

‘It’s a mid-season break and unfortunately means they cannot put a team out against us.

‘We’re disappointed because we wanted a game of football for the lads and now we have a backlog of fixtures, with our next two away at Plymouth and Cambridge United.

‘We had planned to give Tom Craddock a start and play him the full 90 minutes. He is raring to go and has been training well.

‘Now that will have to wait. It’s the same for James Dunne and Danny East who were also going to feature following injury.

‘There has been the Christmas break, while we were without a match at the weekend, and all the lads want to do is play football.

‘I am disappointed for them.’

Pompey’s reserves are scheduled to travel to Plymouth (January 13) and then to Cambridge United (January 20).