Peterborough United manager admits he could have done better in his first 50 games, but he’s not ruling out automatic promotion

Peterborough United manager Steve Evans refuses to rule out a top two finish despite a heavy weekend defeat at Luton Town.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 8:40 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:05 pm
Steve Evans watches the Luton game from the directors' box. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh were humbled 4-0 at Kenilworth Road to leave them nine points behind the second-placed Hatters with 18 matches to go. Posh fell apart after losing centre-back Ryan Tafazolli to a first-half red card - the club have appealed that decision this morning (January 21).

Saturday was Evans’ 50th match as Posh manager. He’s won 21 of them and lost 15.

“That’s a respectable win percentage,” Evans stated. “But it could and should have been better and I’m as frustrated as any Posh fan about that.

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Posh players troop off the field at Luton. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“We’ve put pressure on ourselves by saying we want promotion straight away. I’m not into three-to-five year plans. I’ve never hidden away from that and I’m not ruling out a top two finish.

“There are plenty of matches to go and teams will be dropping points along the way. We must make sure we string some wins together and the situation and mood would soon change.

“Portsmouth and Luton play each other next Tuesday for a start. If we’d have won we’d have been three points behind Luton, but we now have nine points to make up. That’s how quickly things can change.

“We were disappointing against a very good Luton side, but there was a big mitigating factor with Ryan’s red card. I’m not even sure it was a foul.”

Posh midfielder Louis Reed is suspended from a Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final at Portsmouth.

Evans plans to field a much-changed side at Portsmouth in tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie at Fratton Park (January 21 (7pm). He will be without Kyle Dempsey and Ben White who are both cup tied and Louis Reed who is suspended. Tafazolli is currently suspended even though tomorrow’s game won’t count towards the three-game ban he collected at Luton.

“I will see how the players go in training this morning,” Evans added. “There will be changes as we have to plan for a big game against Charlton on Saturday as well as the Portsmouth game.

“I want to win every game, but If I had a choice of winning one of them it would obviously be the Charlton game.

“It’s a balancing act as Wembley is close, but the priority was always big games against Luton and Charlton and that hasn’t changed.”

Posh are two wins from a Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley.

Posh host Charlton on Saturday (January 26) in a crunch League One game. The Londoners are six points ahead of Posh having played a game more. Key Charlton striker Lyle Taylor was sent off in their weekend win over Accrington Stanley, but that decision is also likely to be appealed.