Ferguson confirms Peterborough United squad rotation, but still expects Trophy triumph over Ipswich Town
Darren Ferguson says he will be making plenty of changes to the Peterborough United team to take on Ipswich Town in the first knockout round of the Leasing.com Trophy on Wednesday night - and he is expecting counterpart Paul Lambert to do the same.
Posh host the Tractor Boys at the Weston Homes Stadium (ko 7.30pm), and will be looking to secure safe passage to the last 16 of the competition.
The game comes just three days after Sunday's FA Cup third round win over Dover Athletic, and with a crucial Sky Bet League One trip to Portsmouth just a few days away on Saturday, so Ferguson has confirmed he will be rotating his squad.
But he has also made it clear to the players who will be involved, that he expects them to book Posh's place in the next round.
Asked if there will be changes, Ferguson said: "I think both teams will do the same, with the games that are coming up and such a busy period in December
"I might be wrong and Ipswich might go full strength, I don't know, but the three games they have played in this competition previously to this they have utilised the squad.
"They are away on Saturday as well, and we have a very tough game ourselves.
"So for me, it is an opportunity for me to concentrate on what I can do with my squad, and that is what I'll be doing it.
"I have to focus on what we're doing, prepare for the game as normal, and I am looking forward to it.
"There will be a bit of freshness to the team, and there will be changes made from Sunday.
"But my message to the players, whatever team I pick, is that I expect us to win the game."
Ferguson rotated his squad for all three of Posh's group games, but he admitted the team that takes to the field will be stronger than any that he sent out in the wins against Northampton Town, Cambridge United and Arsenal Under-21s.
"Whatever 18 I pick, it will be a stronger 18 than I have picked before in the tournament," said the Posh boss.
"I have to be mindful that we are further on in the tournament, we are playing against a very good team.
"We have done our job in getting through to this, we are at home and out home form is excellent, so we go into the game with a lot of belief and confidence."