Peterborough United’s under-performing players will learn their fate today (May 6) as manager Steve Evans starts building a squad capable of challenging for promotion from League One next season.
Posh succumbed to a tame 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth in their final game of 2017-18 yesterday evening (May 5) as home striker Brett Pitman scored twice. The defeat meant a ninth-place finish on 64 points, a modest improvement of two points and two places on last season.
Evans left top scorer Jack Marriott, who was presented with the League One golden boot after the game after a 27-goal campaign, out of his starting line-up to protect the striker’s expected big-money move in the summer. Some of that cash will be used to finance Evans’ re-building plans. Evans suggested a Scottish Premier League side had now shown an interest in Marriott.
The current players will know if they are part of those plans during a series of meetings today.
Teenage striker Idris Kanu made his full Football League debut at Fratton Park before he was substituted at half-time.
Evans, speaking after the Pompey defeat, said: “My meetings with the players start at 7am. They all have a time slot and we should be in a position to release the retained list early in the afternoon.
“We’ve come up short again this season, as we have in every season since we were relegated from the Championship, and I now have two choices. I can either do things much differently this summer or I can do nothing, and there’s no way I will do nothing.
“I would love nothing better than to have Jack Marriott available next season, but if the chairman exercises his right to sell Jack, I will make sure whatever cash I get is invested wisely. It’s unlikely Jack will be here next season and I felt it unwise to play him because of all the speculation.
“There are clubs higher up the Football League pyramid after him including one from my country.
“It was a tough watch in the first half today. We started the better side until we conceded a poor goal from a set-piece and then we didn’t compete well enough.
“You can’t leave a goalscorer like Brett Pitman unmarked, but we did it twice, although his second goal was probably offside. You tend to get those decisions go your way when you have an 18,000 crowd.
“We made a couple of substitutions at half-time which improved us, but we didn’t do enough. We didn’t keep the ball up front in the first-half which is not a criticism of Idris Kanu as he worked his socks off for us, but he received no support from those who should have been supporting him.
“I had to look at Kanu in a real game. I can’t judge him on under 21 matches.”