COUNTDOWN TO CITY: Peterborough United forward enjoying being back in the first team fold and looking forward to ‘free hit’ against Manchester City

Peterborough United Sammie Szmodics insists that he is enjoying being back in the first team fold and is looking forward to a ‘free hit’ against Manchester City tonight (March 1).

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 1:51 pm

Since the departure of manager Darren Ferguson, Szmodics has returned to the first team piture. He didn’t appear in any of Ferguson’s last five league matches and was dropped from the squad entirely for the defeat at Derby last month (February 19).

Since then, the forward has started in both Matthew Etherington’s and Grant McCann’s first matches in charge of the club.

Szmodics said: “It was different what happened, I’m not going to get into anything like that, but it’s nice to be back and give everything again for Peterborough. I’ve enjoyed being back in training and playing matches.

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Sammie Szmodics of Peterborough United in action with Antonee Robinson of Fulham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“The results haven’t gone our way, but we are going to keep working hard as a team and we need the fans to stay behind us. They have been brilliant. They travel in their numbers and hopefully we can change the results soon.”

Szmodics will be hoping to retain his place in the side as Posh host Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round tonight. It will be a welcome distraction from the Championship campaign, which saw them slip to the bottom of the table on Saturday after Barnsley’s victory over Middlesbrough coupled with Posh’s defeat at home to Hull.

Szmodics insists that the pressure is off for Posh tonight though and they can go out and give it their all in what is a free hit.

He added: “I was at the gym, I’d just took my little one swimming and I was with my Mrs, when the draw was happening, I thought I really need to focus on this and I saw Man City come out and I was buzzing and my Mrs was really excited.

“I think everyone else is excited because they don’t have to run around and play against them, but it’s a great draw for us and it’s going to be a brilliant day.

“I’ve played against a couple of Premier League teams before, but nothing of this magnitude. They are one of the best teams in the world at the minute and it will be a really good test for us to see where we are. All the boys are really excited and really looking forward to it.

“It’s a free hit because no one is expecting us to get anything from it. The pressure is off completely and we can go out and enjoy ourselves. It’s going to be shoulders back, chest up and be proud of where we have got to. We’re just going to go out there big smiles on our faces and give it a go.

“I do enjoy playing in front of big crowds. It gives me more energy and I like to be a bit of an entertainer. To know that London Road is going to be packed out, it will be a great day and we’ve deserved it.

“The league form has not been how we wanted it to be this year. Everyone knows we’ve not been as good as we hoped, but this is a free hit and something everyone can enjoy.”