It’s not easy stepping into the boots of Chris Forrester, but new Peterborough United signing Simon Gillett looks like he could be the best fit yet.
Gillett (30) started a month’s loan at Posh from League Two side Yeovil in time to make his debut in a tough League One match at bang in-form Wigan on Saturday (March 5). He played at the base of the midfield diamond and prompted the best Posh passing display for some time, certainly since Forrester picked up his injury at Millwall last month.
The former Nottingham Forest and Bristol City midfielder has been brought in to provide a young, gifted squad with experienced assistance. It’s a service he’s happy to provide after recently recovering from a lengthy absence with a knee injury.
His start in Posh colours was impressive as he played a full part in a creditable 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium, a result that halted a run of five straight League One defeats.
“I’m delighted to be here,” Gillett said after the game. “In fact I’m just delighted to be playing again so thanks to both clubs for making it happen.
“The gaffer here was very positive when he spoke to me. He said he had a lot of very good talented young players who just needed a bit of experience to help them along. He wanted an older head, someone with a bit of knowhow.
“It’s a challenge for me, but one I’m looking forward to and we have started with a good result so hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here.
“I trained with the lads on Friday and played the following day, but it’s already obvious to me that the manager is right about the talent here. They proved that earlier in the season with their results. They’ve had a slump since, but maybe the result at Wigan will get us going again.
“I’ve been out with a knee injury for a while and I need games. I wasn’t really getting that at Yeovil, but they were good enough to let me come out on loan.
“When you’re injured you appreciate what a good life you have in football. You never know what’s around the corner. You can be top of the world one day, and the next you can have a big setback.”
If Gillett plays against Port Vale at the ABAX Stadium it will be his 250th appearance in a career that started 11 years ago and has included spells at Southampton, Walsall, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Yeovil, Nottingham Forest, Doncaster and Bristol City. He has four career goals.
Posh boss Graham Westley was impressed with his new man’s debut. He said: “I was delighted by Simon’s accomplished, composed display. I know what this team needed and he gave it to us. Our inexperienced players needed some guidance.”
Gillett’s arrival points to an extended absence for Forrester. He’s the 40th different player used by Posh in League One matches this season.