Peterborough United make a surprise selection for the EFL Trophy tie against Fulham
Posh boss Darren Ferguson believes the 25 year-old needs matches to get up to the standards of last season when he was outstanding during a loan spell from Bristol City.
Szmodics’ participation tomorrow does not mean he won’t start in Saturday’s League One derby at Northampton Town (October 10).
Ferguson has named a strong side for the visit of Fulham which is likely to include Ryan Broom - who replaced Szmodics to great effect in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Swindon - Reece Brown, Ethan Hamilton, Mo Eisa, Jason Naismith and Idris Kanu.
Defender Niall Mason will play after receiving the all-clear following a mild concussion, but teenage striker Ricky-Jade Jones is absent. He’s seeing a specialist tonight as an issue though to be a ‘dead leg’ has not cleared up as quickly as hoped.
“Sammie needs games,” Ferguson said. “He’s been okay so far, but he’s not quite at his best. Last season when he was outstanding for us we were playing Saturday. Tuesday, Saturday so I’m hoping an extra game will help him along.
“Sammie looked sharp in the first half against Swindon, but we just couldn’t get the ball to him. He then did well to win us a penalty, but he knows he has competition for his place from Ryan Broom. Ryan was excellent when he went on against Swindon. He has fantastic energy.
“But because Sammie is playing tomorrow does not mean he won’t play on Saturday. I have to manage the matches this season as a series of one-offs and that’s what I’m doing with Sammie tomorrow.
“It’s a strong team tomorrow, stronger than we put out in this competition last season, and I’m looking for a good performance and a positive result.”
Posh won their opening EFL Trophy group game against Burton Albion after a penalty shootout.
Possible Posh team
Naismith, Mason, Blake-Tracy.
Kanu, Brown, Hamilton, Burrows.