Three months ago Erhun Oztumer believed his football future lay away from Peterborough United, but now he feels like a key player in a League One promotion push.
The 24 year-old was frozen out of the Posh first team by previous manager Dave Roberston, The Turkish midfielder didn’t even travel on the club’s pre-season tour of Ireland as he contemplated a loan move away from the club.
But Robertson’s sacking, the promotion of Grant McCann and the arrival of Graham Westley has turned Oztumer’s career around.
McCann brought him in from the cold for his first match in caretaker charge at Oldham in September and he’s been a regular ever since, apart from a three-match suspension following a red card for serious foul play. Oztumer has scored four goals in eight appearances and has often sparkled in general play.
“The previous manager didn’t rate me as highly as Grant and the new gaffer,” Oztumer stated. “I did look around for a loan move in the summer, but I also made sure I stayed fit and trained hard just in case I was needed, at Peterborough or elsewhere.
“Luckily things eventually worked out for me and now I feel like I’m a big part of a very exciting squad. I feel wanted and it feels great.
“All the team have bought into the tactics of the management team. We are playing a brand of exciting, entertaining football and once we finish a game we can’t wait for the next one to come along.
“I’ve scored some goals which is good, but I only have one personal aim this season and that’s to win promotion. If that means I have to score 10-15 goals then I will try, but I’m just as happy helping the team by playing well and creating goals for others.
“It’s not just about playing great football though. We are a lot fitter under the current management set-up. We are in the gym more and we have started to cover more distance than our opponents during a game. If you can out-run the other than you increase your chances of winning.”
Oztumer is also happy with a juicy FA Cup second round tie at home to League Two side Luton Town. He was close to signing for ‘The Hatters’ before he moved to Posh from non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. Luton allegedly pulled out of the deal with concerns about his fitness.
“They were interested in me, but it fell through” Oztumer admitted. “That’s worked out well for me as I’m at a better club.
“It’s a good FA Cup tie for us though as it’s against a local rival. I’d never played in a proper round of the FA Cup before the Burton game (November 7) so it’s all new to me.
“I’m appreciative of everything at Peterborough, the games, the standard of training, even the training cones, We didn’t always have training cones in non-league!”