Posh star Sammie has a burning desire to crack the Championship, but which members of the current squad would shine if promotion is achieved
The 25-year-old turned down the chance to join Posh from Colchester in the summer of 2019 in favour of a crack at the second tier with Bristol City.
But it didn’t work out for the popular Posh forward who started just one Championship match for City and one League Cup tie before moving to London Road on loan for the second half of last season.
Some stellar form persuaded Posh to part with close to a million for Szmodics last summer. He’s responded with 13 League One goals to help Posh into a challenging position for automatic promotion with just seven matches to go.
Current Sunderland manager Lee Johnson signed Szmodics for City.
“Lee’s a great manager and Bristol City are a great club,” Szmodics told TalkSPORT. “But I wasn’t given a chance. I didn’t get a sniff for whatever reason. I only played four games (two as a substitute) so I want to get back to the Championship to prove I can play at that level.
“I’m confident we have a team at Peterborough capable of playing in the Championship. That’s the aim for all us. We don’t want to just get there and survive as we believe we could flourish, but we can’t start thinking about that just yet as we have seven tough games to go.
“It doesn’t really matter now how we perform. It’s all about winning matches.
“Our away form hasn’t been great, but perhaps that’s because we put ourselves under pressure by being so determined to get it right.
“People have doubted me at times, but I’ve never doubted myself. I didn’t score for 14 games, but it’s always been about the team. We will stay together. There are no easy games as everyone is either fighting to go up, stay up or cause an upset.”
Szmodics, who could miss Saturday’s game at Swindon with a shoulder injury, would be a certain starter in a Posh Championship side, but the step up in standard from League One is huge as the struggles of last season’s three promoted clubs - Coventry, Rotherham and Wycombe - have proved.
Posh would certainly have to strengthen their squad if they went up (it would be a surprise if targets haven’t already been identified), but the current line-up would also be given their chance.
Nathan Thompson, Mark Beevers and Frankie Kent would be a solid back three in the second tier and star midfielder Jack Taylor could be expected to flourish.
Top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris, like Szmodics, has played at Championship level with Rotherham and would match his teammate’s desire to prove his worth.