FEATURE: Will Peterborough United’s fringe players be able to cut it?

Posh midfielder Jermaine Anderson.
Posh midfielder Jermaine Anderson.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann reckons he could use some players who have been on the fringes of first-team action during the forthcoming hectic playing schedule.

The games at AFC Wimbledon (November 12) and Tranmere (November 15) were the first of six matches in 17 days for Posh.

Andrea Borg.

Andrea Borg.

But how would the back-up boys cope if called upon?

JERMAINE ANDERSON

Coming back from one major knee injury would be hard enough, but returning from two serious knee injuries is a mighty challenge.

The club are sensibly nursing the 21 year-old back gently, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see the best of the midfielder until next season.

Idris Kanu.

Idris Kanu.

First team appearances: 85 (23 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: The club and the fans need to stay patient. He’ll be used cautiously this season.

ANDREA BORG

Given his chance at the end of last season when Posh had little to play for.

Callum Chettle.

Callum Chettle.

Not featured at all so far this season and unlikely to, until Posh are out of the running for the play-offs probably.

First team appearances: 3 (2 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: Very little chance.

CALLUM CHETTLE

This midfielder caught the eye towards the back end of last season, but he has been restricted to just two substitute appearances so far in this campaign.

A lengthy injury absence hasn’t helped, but Posh have struggled in the centre of midfield (Anthony Grant apart) and this 21 year-old hasn’t been trusted.

First team appearances: 22 (15 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: I can’t see many appearances as long as Posh stay in and around the play-off picture.

CHRIS FORRESTER

How bizarre the former skipper is included in this list as 12 months ago he was challenging Marcus Maddison for the status of ‘most valuable player’ at the club, but his form has dropped off a cliff since last January. It’s possibly a giant leap of faith (and I don’t see him in training), but surely Forrester’s passing ability will be utilised before too long?

Someone just needs to unblock whatever’s affecting his confidence .

First team appearances: 101 (10 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: He’ll be back as soon as he remembers how good he was.

LEWIS FREESTONE

Finished last season as first-choice left-back and looked so good it was thought he had a chance of starting this campaign in the first XI, but a switch to a system with wing-backs ruined his chances.

Appears to have struggled for form this season. Nowhere near the first team yet and just two appearances on loan at National League Guiseley.

First team appearances: 4.

Likely first-team impact: Wouldn’t give up on him yet, but unlikely to feature much this season.

IDRIS KANU

This striker is not 18 until December 5 which seems to have been forgotten by some opinion formers.

But he was ready for first-team action when he signed according to his manager, which has looked wildly optimistic in recent times.

Given the problems with Miller and Junior Morias, Kanu would be starting now if he’d shown any form, but I expect him to come gaian before too long.

First team appearances: 16 (14 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: Needs to improve, but who’s to say he can’t?

He could yet have a part to play, even if it’s only from the substitutes’ bench.

DANNY LLOYD

It’s one of the mysteries of the season how little attacking midfielder Lloyd has played, especially in the times when Posh have lacked creativity and dash going forward. The 25 year-old plays with passion and commitment and should now given his head given the club’s problems up front. A hat-trick in the FA Cup tie on Wednesday (November 15) suggests he will get an extended run in the side.

First team appearances: 9 (4 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: His big opportunity is here now.

RICKY MILLER

The local hero was struggling on the field before his recent off-field indiscretion effectively ended his involvement for the foreseeable future.

Will he ever come back? The verdict from his court appearance of November 22 will probably determine that, but it’s a long road back whether at Posh (who have done the right thing by him so far) or another club.

First team appearances: 9 (4 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: More likely to leave if court hearing goes badly.

CONOR O’MALLEY

The goalkeeper’s form in cup matches has been impressive. Jonathan Bond has been a fine first-choice ‘keeper and deserves to keep his place, but if he is forced to return to parent club Reading in January, Posh would not have to seek another goalkeeper.

The young Irishman looks ready.

First team appearances: 5

Likely first-team impact: Above average in the New Year.

ALEX PENNY

The graduate from Jamie Vardy’s Academy has been sparingly used do far, but he’s suffered a couple of ill-timed illnesses.

He struggled on his only start against Barnet way back at the start of August and I suspect Andrew Hughes is the first-choice back up to the three leading centre-backs.

First team appearances: 2 (1 as a substitute)

Likely first-team impact: Can’t see it unless there are a couple of injuries.

LIAM SHEPHARD

He’s been unlucky not to have started more matches since his free transfer arrival from Swansea in the summer, but he needs to play right-back in a 4-4-2 formation to show his best form.

He’s a neat and tidy footballer though and I’d expect him to be reliable if called up.

First team appearances: 8 (2 as a substitute).

Likely first-team impact: Should at least double the appearances he’s made so far.

Appearances correct before last night’s FA Cup tie.