Insider: Portsmouth opposition Peterborough taking Checkatrade Trophy seriously

Alan Swann, sports reporter for the Peterborough Telegraph, examines Posh’s campaign...

Monday, 21st January 2019, 5:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:17 pm
Peterborough boss Steve Evans

It was a great start to the season from Steve Evans’ men, top of the table until mid-September.

On that occasion, a 2-1 home defeat to Pompey toppled them, and presently they sit sixth in League One. At this stage, you are where you deserve.

I never thought we were going to remain top throughout the campaign, although am quite confident about retaining sixth place.

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I don’t think the top five can be caught, especially as they have started to pull away now and created a five-point gap.

Evans’ side have done okay, playing some good football away from home. A return of eight wins on their travels is already more than the whole of last term.

Since the clocks went back, Peterborough have won only three matches. To still be in sixth is remarkable – and might say something about the standard of the division.

Quite a few of those fixtures have been drawn, it has not been a bad state, and sixth is probably where we deserve to be.

The Posh are not as good as the five teams above us, but a little bit better than ones behind.

There has been a hell of a turnover of players and estimates were the season would start slowly and come on stronger after Christmas when the players gelled. But that didn’t quite happen.

Still, Lee Tomlin returning to the club this month is huge. If he’s anything like the player that left us five years ago then he will make a fantastic impact.

The stand-out performer so far has been Ivan Toney, who has scored 17 goals this season and is a great lad with a great attitude.

He is ahead of Jason Cummings in a lone striking role within a 4-2-3-1, but is expected to be on the bench against Pompey.

As for Cummings, he scored six goals in August, including three penalties, but is without a league goal since and won’t be involved tonight.

The Posh have been taking the Checkatrade Trophy seriously, they won it in 2014 and certainly it has been a plan to go as far as we can.

Evans has been fielding strong teams and in the previous round won against Chelsea under-21s.