Peterborough United’s big-money signing might have to wait for his debut

Peterborough United’s big-money summer signing Jonson Clarke-Harris might have to wait to make his competitive debut for the club.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 11:33 am
Jonson Clarke-Harris during the Posh friendly with Coventry last weekend.Photo: Joe Dent/

Clarke-Harris, the replacement for Ivan Toney, cost Posh close to £1 million when arriving from Bristol Rovers, but he is behind the other players in terms of match-fitness so is likely to sit on the substitutes’ bench for the Carabao Cup tie against Cheltenham Town at the Weston Homes Stadium tomorrow (September 5, 3pm).

Posh boss Darren Ferguson said: “Lockdown was a problem for Jonson. Our players continued working throughout the break, but it’s clear there’s an element of fitness missing with Jonson.

“He’s behind the other players and he accepts that. We have given him a programme to follow, but we can’t risk an injury with him. He’ll be involved tomorrow, but we’ll work out how many minutes we can give him.”

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Lewis Freestone in action for Posh.

If Clarke-Harris is absent Mo Eisa will probably get the chance to impress against his former club. Teenage striker Ricky-Jade Jones is a confirmed absentee because of an ankle injury.

And Ferguson is expecting a tough game against a League Two side he admires.

“They play good football,” Ferguson added. “They will try and play through our lines and they have good experience throughout the side so it will be a tough game.

“They will start as underdogs, but if we are off our game they will certainly cause us problems.

“It’s great that the real stuff is starting again. I’ve been delighted with the players since we came back to work, but they need to be on their game tomorrow.”

Former Posh full-back Lewis Freestone is expected to be part of the Cheltenham squad.

If the game is level after 90 minutes it will be settled on a penalty shootout.

The draws for the second and third rounds of the competition will take place on Sunday (September 6, from 2pm) like on Sky Sports.