Peterborough United manager promises a performance of pride and passion at Portsmouth
Peterborough United manager Steve Evans has promised a performance of pride and passion from his patched-up team at Portsmouth tonight (January 22, 7pm kick off).
Posh will field a weakened team, through choice and ineligibility, to play the League One leaders in a Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie at Fratton Park even though two wins in the competition would guarantee a return to Wembley.
Definitely out are cup-tied pair Ben White and Kyle Dempsey, while Louis Reed is suspended. Ryan Tafazolli could miss out even if the Football Association overturn his weekend red card. one issued by Premier League referee David Coote.
Evans is also keen to leave some big hitters behind as Posh face a huge League One match against play-off rivals Charlton at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (January 26).
“I told the chairman before the Chelsea game in the last round that I would probably make changes if we made the next round purely because of where the quarter-final fell in the calender,” Evans stated.
“The League One matches either side against Luton and Charlton were always going to take priority and as always the chairman was supportive.
“But we will go to Portsmouth in a positive frame of mind. You have to have pride in the badge whenever you pull that Posh shirt on and that will be the case tonight.
“The players worked hard with 10 men for over an hour on a bad pitch at Luton. I was pleased with their efforts and I would expect similar tonight. We’re travelling a long way, but it will seem a shorter journey if we win.
“I have no idea what Portsmouth will do with their team, but they will be tough to beat no matter who they put out.
“Ryan will be suspended if we don’t win our appeal. His suspension will cover tonight’s game as well as three League One games, but we think it was a refereeing mistake and hopefully the powers that be will agree. They may choose to back a Premier League referee, but I doubt a Football League official would have arrived at the same decision.
“The reaction of the Luton players didn’t help the referee. The lad who went down didn’t even need the physio which tells me a lot as well.”
Rhys Bennett is likely to be retun to the Posh starting line-up tonight at centre-back, possibly alongside Jason Naismith. Full-backs Darren Lyon and Tyler Denton could also make rare appearances.
Skipper Alex Woodyard is expected to start, while Lee Tomlin might play in an attempt to up his match fitness levels.
Portsmouth have lost their last two League One matches, but with an FA Cup tie at home to QPR on Saturday followed by a League One trip to Luton next Tuesday (January 29) it’s unlikely they will field a full strength side.