Peterborough United manager wants his first-team players to be put under more pressure

Callum Cooke (left) has just scored for Posh at Gillingham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Callum Cooke (left) has just scored for Posh at Gillingham. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United manager Steve Evans has urged his fringe players to put pressure on those performing regularly for the table-topping first team.

Posh returned to the top of League following Saturday’s (September 22) thrilling 4-2 win at Gillingham when the final goal was scored by midfielder Callum Cooke.

George Cooper (right) will have to fight to get his first-team squad place back.

George Cooper (right) will have to fight to get his first-team squad place back.

Cooke fought his way into the first-team squad by performing well for the reserves. The second string are in action in a league cup tie today (September 24) against Notts County at the Mick George training ground (2pm).

Cooke will play in that game as will George Cooper, the man he displaced from the matchday squad at Gillingham, as Evans fields a strong team.

“These games are important,” Evans announced. “We picked Callum in the squad on Saturday because he was our best player at MK Dons in a reserve game.

“George Cooper hasn’t done anything wrong, but Callum forced his way in because of the way he performed in that game and in training.

Josh Yorwerth (centre) played well for Posh at Gillingham after Ryan Tafazolli (background) went off injured.

Josh Yorwerth (centre) played well for Posh at Gillingham after Ryan Tafazolli (background) went off injured.

“I like consistency of selection, but I’m not running a closed shop. It’s important the whole squad is kept on their toes by other players fighting for their place.”

Joe Ward, Conor O’Malley, Tyler Denton, Joe Ward, Josh Yorwerth, Louis Reed, Mark O’Hara and Isaac Buckley-Ricketts are among those expected to play against County. Jason Cummings, who didn’t feature at Gillingham, will not play as he has already seen plenty of action this season.

Posh centre-back Ryan Tafazolli is expected to be fit for Saturday’s (September 29) League One visit of Blackpool after leaving the Gills game at half-time because of a head injury.

“We sent Ryan for a scan in London and it showed only bruising,” Evans added. “That’s obviously good news as my biased opinion is that he’s the best centre-back in League One. He leads using quiet inspiration, although I felt Josh Yorwerth did very well when he came on in his place.”