Peterborough United manager Steve Evans won’t be hanging around as he attempts to build a League One promotion-winning squad for the 2018-19 season.
Posh finish a frustrating campaign at Portsmouth on Saturday (May 5, 5.30pm kick off). The following day Evans will tell every member of his current squad whether or not they remain part of his plans.
It’s expected many will be told they can go with the re-building process likely to be funded by the multi-million pound sale of star striker Jack Marriott. Posh are expected to announce their retained list next Monday (May 7) the day before Evans flies to Florida for a summit with chairman Darragh MacAnthony and his co-owners Jason Neale and Stewart Thompson.
Evans will then step up the hunt for new players. He’s already submitted a list of wanted men to MacAnthony.
Evans is confident the decisions he makes will prove to be sound.
“I’ve never had a player I’ve released come back and haunt me,” Evans stated, “I’ve sold a few who have gone on to do well, but I’ve never let one go and regretted it.
“I have made my mind up about the current squad. They will all be told in face-to-face meetings on Sunday. It will be tough on some players, but they will find clubs for sure.
“I always do my business early as well. Ideally I will have my squad in place before we start our pre-season friendlies. That process has already started. If you fail to plan properly, you can plan to fail.
“There is guidance from the Football League not to talk to players who are still involved in the play-offs, but there are plenty of clubs not involved.
“A list of the players I want has already gone in to the board. They will be discussed when we meet up in Florida.
“I like to talk to my targets about the football I want to play and if I like what they have to say I will ask Barry Fry to talk finances. Financial talks won’t take place if me and the player are not on the same page.
“The board also have the list of players I want to keep. Jack Marriott is on that list, but I accept he is likely to be sold. There is huge interest in the player and he deserves a crack at the Championship or better. Posh sold Dwight Gayle to a Premier League club and Jack has all the qualities Dwight had.”
Evans has acted quickly to kill off rumours he was interested in Nottingham Forest centre-back Jack Hobbs or Mansfield midfielder Alex MacDonald. Evans quit Mansfield to come to Posh.
“Jack has been a top player and fully fit I’d be interested,” Evans stated. “I did see him playing for Forest Under 23s recently and he was outstanding, the best player on the pitch, but he’s been injured a lot recently so he’d be too big a risk.
“And, as much as I love Alex MacDonald, if I was to go back to Mansfield for a player I’d probably be quoted £5 million!”
Marriott picked up a hat-trick of awards at the Posh presentation night on Saturday.. He was the predictable winner of the Forever Posh (official supporters group), player-of-the-season and Forever Posh away travel prizes as well as the players’ player of the year award.
Leo Da Silva Lopes was voted young player-of-the-year and Lewis Freestone picked up the under 18 player of the year award. Club captain Jack Baldwin received a ‘community champion’ award, while Marcus Maddison’s spectacular strike against Shrewsbury won goal of the season.