Former Peterborough United player Leo Da Silva Lopes insists a return to the club who gave him his big break in football is ‘just another game.’
Da Silva Lopes made his debut for Posh aged 16 in 2015 and played over 100 times for the club before moving into the Championship with Wigan for close to £1 million last summer.
The 20 year-old has yet to make his mark in the second tier, but a loan to Gillingham in January leads him back to London Road for the first time tomorrow (April 6).
“Posh is a good club,” Da Silva Lopes stated. “It’s like a selling club really. I still follow their results to see what they’re doing but that’s about it. It is just another game for me.
“Most of the players I played with aren’t there anymore and it’s pretty much a brand new team, apart from Marcus Maddison who is too good to still be there.
“I got into the first team quite young. I made my debut aged 16. It was a bit nervy in the first game, but I didn’t get nervous after that. I started to break into the team when I was 17 and I stayed there until I was 19.
“Dave Robertson gave me my debut and then Graham Westley, Grant McCann and Steve Evans all played me. Before then I was just starting to train with the first team when Darren Ferguson left.
“The highlights were playing Chelsea away, winning at Aston Villa and scoring twice in a home game against Bristol Rovers.
“Then the chance to move to Wigan came and the opportunity to join a bigger club in the Championship was too good to turn down. There is no point thinking about the money side, it was all about playing higher
“I haven’t played many games for Wigan, but it is a big squad. It has been tough, moving up north and living by myself. I wasn’t really in the frame there for the first couple of months. Then there were a few injuries and I got on the bench a bit and then made my debut. After that, I thought I needed some game-time.
“There were a few clubs interested early on and that broke down and it came to the last day and it was pretty much just Gillingham.
“You always want to play. You have to be patient, but you want to play and I just try my best in every game.”
Da Silva Lopes started just two cup matches and made one substitute appearance for Wigan before joining Gillingham. He’s scored one goal in 10 appearances for the Gills
Posh boss Darren Ferguson said: “I always felt Leo would go on to have a good career. That’s the still the case even though he it hasn’t worked for him at Wigan yet.
“He’s a good player, one capable of playing in many positions and he’s still young with plenty of time to kick on. The move to Gillingham has been good for him.”