MATCH PREVIEW: Ryan insists Peterborough United have yet to peak
In-form centre-back Ryan Tafazolli insists Peterborough United have not yet reached their peak.
The 25 year-old has been a key component in an impressive start to the campaign that has prompted ambitions of a season-long promotion push.
Those ambitions will get a severe test tomorrow (September 23) with the visit of a highly-regarded Wigan Athletic side, but Tafazolli is confident the team’s usual thorough preparation will give them the chance of claiming a notable scalp.
“On paper Wigan look like a tough test,” Tafazolli admitted. “But we are facing them at a time when confidence is high in our camp and we believe we can beat anyone when we are on our game.
“I haven’t played against any of their strikers before, but we are well prepared for what is in store. We are given video clips to watch on all of our opponents well before the game so we always know what we are coming up against.
“On a personal note I’m happy with how I’ve started the season, but I still think myself and the team can reach another level and that is what we strive for every day.
“We have increased competition for places, but I wouldn’t say that is a motivation in itself. You shouldn’t need competition for places to become motivated, it should come from yourself.
“But there is no doubt it’s made us stonger as a squad.
“Steven Taylor has been brilliant to play with. He has played so many games at the top level and that experience has been invaluable for the rest of us.
“I have formed a good relationship with him as I have with all the centre-backs at the club.
“Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond communicates well as Luke McGee did last year. ‘Bondy’ looks a class act. He makes difficult saves look easy.
“There has been a real togetherness at the club this season and that includes the fans. They have generated great atmospheres home and away and long may that continue.”
Longer-term Tafazolli still has ambitions of playing for Iran who have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He qualifies through his mother.
“I have spoken to the Iranian coach,” Tafazolli added. “I’m trying to sort an Iranian passport and once that’s done I’d love a call-up.”