Peterborough United manager has Wembley on his mind
Peterborough United manager Steve Evans is dreaming of taking his local club to Wembley.
Posh qualified for the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 2-1 win over League One rivals Luton Town at the ABAX Stadium tonight (November 13).
They now need to win four more ties to win a place in the Wembley final. The draw for the last 32 takes place live on talkSPORT 2 on Friday (November 16, from 1pm).
First-half goals from full-back Colin Daniel - his first for the club - and striker Ivan Toney ensured a second-half howler from goalkeeper Conor O’Malley wasn’t costly. Posh, who made 10 changes from the team that started the FA Cup tie at Bronley on Saturday, finished second in the group behind Luton.
“This competition is priority number four for this season,” Evans stated. “Obviously promotion from League One is number one and then the other two cup competitions we enter.
“But the Checkatrade Trophy offers the best chance of reaching Wembley and would I love to take my local club there? You bet I would.
“The objective at the start of a very tough group was just to get through and then take it from there. We have had some disappointments on the way like the first half at MK Dons (Posh were 3-0 down) and losing a two-goal lead against Brighton, but got there in the end.
“And for 75 minutes tonight I was delighted with how we played. We were on cruise control until our goalkeeper let them back into the game and then we had to defend well and stand tall against a team who threw caution to the wind for 15 minutes or so.
“Luton started the game brighter than us, but we dominated after scoring two great goals. Marcus Maddison did what Marcus Maddison does to set up the first for Colin Daniel. We’ve worked on getting our full-backs higher up the pitch so I was pleased with the movement Colin made.
“In fact our movement and passing was excellent at times and what a wonderful strike from Ivan Toney from the free kick to put us 2-0 up.
“We were determined to stay on the front foot in the second-half, but Luton had some good players on view so they were always going to have spells.”
Posh gave a competitive debut to experienced former Newcastle, Spurs and Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong. There were also rare starts for right-back Darren Lyon and midfielders Callum Cooke and Jamie Walker. Bassong was playing his first competitive match since May, 2017.
“Seb was excellent for 75 minutes,” Evans added. “He only gave the ball away once in the first-half so he was good in possession and he defended solidly.
“He struggled through the last 15 minutes, but he’s only been playing reserve team football for 18 months so that was understandable. He’ll come on a million miles for that 90 minutes.
“Darren Lyon also did well against a quality player in Jorge Grant.
“It was a shame for Conor O’Malley, but mistakes by goalkeepers lead to goals. His distribution was poor at times as well. He was putting defenders under pressure, but after his mistake he came and caught a couple of crosses so that showed good character.”