Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson will freshen his side up for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup first round tie at Oxford United (August 13, 7.45pm kick off).
Ferguson made the decision to change personnel before Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the home of the same opposition on Saturday (August 10). Posh have lost both of their opening League One matches, but Ferguson wasn’t tempted to keep what has been his first-choice line-up together in an attempt to boost their confidence.
Right-back Jason Naismith, left-back Frazer Blake-Tracy and midfielders Joe Ward, Louis Reed, Josh Knight and Serhat Tasdemir are all in the running for a call-up. Marcus Maddison is the club’s only injury concern after suffering a slight groin injury on Saturday.
“I would have freshened the team up for this game even if we’d won the first two games,” Ferguson said. “There will be changes, but we will still be fielding a strong side as we want a good cup run. Winning cup matches can have a positive effect on league form.
“What I do want to see tomorrow is higher levels of energy from the first whistle. We’ve delivered two first-half performances so far that have been way short of the level required.
“We need to start the game tomorrow the way we started the second-half on Saturday. We want to play on the front foot, to get crosses in and to get shots away. That’s what we should be about.
“We’re obviously disappointed with our start, but it’s important we don’t let panic set in. We need to calm down a bit. Good players don’t become bad players in two weeks.
“It’s up to me to find a way of getting a better balance, but the players need to help theselves as well by applying themselves properly from kick-off.
“I’m confident we will improve and have a good season. This club have started seasons fast recently and not ended up in the play-offs so hopefully we’re doing things in reverse and we will finish strongly!
“It’s a new team and a young team. Some players haven’t performed at this level before. We’ll get the fundamentals right first and foremost and the rest will flow from that.”
Tomorrow’s match goes straight to penalties if it’s level after 90 minutes. Ferguson confirmed his players practised spot-kicks this morning.