Peteborough United reserve team boss Aaron Mclean believes his players are now pushing hard for a starting place in the League One line-up.
But the wise money is on on first-team manager Darren Ferguson picking the same team that played very well for an hour at Wycombe last weekend to face Lincoln at the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday (October 12), even though they threw certain victory away at Adams Park.
The second string delivered a hugely impressive 4-0 win at MK Dons in a League match on Tuesday thanks to goals from Siriki Dembele (2), Harrison Burrows and Idris Kanu.
Those three all played well in a team performance that pleased Mclean who is also a first-team coach.
“I was really pleased with the players,” Mclean said. “Their attitude was first class, we created plenty of scoring opportunities, and they have given themselves a chance of selection for Saturday’s game with Lincoln.”
First-team boss Darren Ferguson did make a veiled threat about the future of some regulars after the disappointment of last weekend’s draw. He believes his team have a psychological issue whenever they concede a goal.
But it has to be unlikely there would be wholesale changes for a game against local rivals in front of a big crowd.
“We would have been third if we’d won last weeken, but we have another shot at third this Saturday when a few games have been postponed because of internationals.
“We are far from the finished article, but clearly we are not in a bad place either.
“We were outstanding for an hour at Wycombe. We controlled the game, everything we worked on came off, we played some great football and we had scored a couple of good goals.
“We then let a bad goal in and conceding goals does seem to affect us psychologically as we let another one in straight away.
“We conceded twice in five minutes at Tranmere and now twice in eight minutes at Wycombe so reacting better to disappointment is something we need to improve.
“But this result was more annoying than at Tranmere because we didn’t play at all well up there. We were good at Wycombe so to drop points in such a fashion was very disappointing.”
Ferguson tipped newly-promoted Lincoln to do well at the start of the season. If the Imps beat Posh on Saturday they will go above them.
“I rate Lincoln,” Ferguson stated. “They’ve had a decent start and they have obvious threats, particularly in Tyler Walker up front. He is an excellent player.
“It will be a good football match. Lincoln changed their style last season. They certainly weren’t that direct when I watched them and they’ve recruited some good technical players since coming up.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere with 3-4,000 Lincoln fans in the ground.
“It’s a game to look forward to like the ones against Ipswich and Sunderland and we did well in those matches.
“We’ve won our last three home games and that’s a run we want to extend. Home form is important if you want to challenge for promotion. If we win we could go third and that’s a huge incentive for us.”
Right-back Nathan Thompson is the only confirmed absentee with a groin injury.
Midfielder Alex Woodyard and left-back Dan Butler are pushing for recalls.