Peterborough United are set to field one golden oldie and a couple of new boys in tomorrow’s (April 23) League One clash with Scunthorpe at the ABAX Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mark Tyler (39) will make his second ‘debut’ 21 years after his first as regular number one Ben Alnwick is nursing a side strain, while the absence of Chris Forrester and Michael Bostwick could mean rare appearances for January signings Adil Nabi and Callum Chettle.
Forrester will serve a one-match suspension, while Bostwick will be rested for the remainder of the season after reaching 14 cautions in Tuesday’s (April 19) 1-0 defeat at Barnsley. One more yellow card would trigger a three-game ban which would carry over into next season.
Posh teenager Leo Da Silva Lopes is also likely to get some minutes in the final three games of the campaign as manager Graham Westley resists the temptation to field experienced on-loan midfielder Simon Gillett.
Westley said: “It’s not about players getting the chance to play for the shirts, it’s about us boxing clever particularly in regards to Michael and Ben.
“One or two others are carrying knocks as well which could require some minor surgeries so we are having to juggle the desire to protect players, with our ambition to go into the summer with some winning form. We don’t want to turn niggles into strains or strains into something more serious.
“Having said that I am sure the younger players who will come in highly motivated with a real desire to do show our fans what they can do. At this stage of the season it’s important I look after our own players rather than play Simon and he fully understands that as he’s been a great pro since he’s been with us.
“It will also be great for Mark to get some minutes. Hopefully he will play for us, like he played against us for Luton. I’m sure our fans will be pleased to see him back on the pitch in a Posh shirt.
“It’s always difficult at the end of a season, especially a season which has ended like ours, well below where we wanted to be.
“In my near-1,000 games as a manager I’ve learnt that changing things slowly is the best way to go, but the time for tolerance is over and it’s time for me to make demands.
“The summer is the perfect time for me to make the big changes I believe this team needs.”
The need to rest Bostwick for disciplinary reasons highlights a problem Posh have had with referees this season.
The Peterborough Telegraph revealed this week that Posh had the worst disciplinary record in League One by some distance. Posh have seen eight players sent off in all competitions this season and picked up a total of 114 yellow cards in 51 matches.
Westley added: “It’s not new news. I’ve been aware of the problems are discipline has caused for a while.
“A lot of our cautions have been sloppy cautions rather than nasty cautions. It’s players sticking a leg out and committing a foul rather than working harder to go with opponents and make a tackle.
“But it’s a fact that it’s much harder to win titles and promotions if you play with 10 men too often and if you have players serving suspensions all the time.”
Tyler was 39 earlier this month. He made his debut for Posh as a 17-year-old in 1994 and went on to make 486 appearances for the club - the second highest number in Posh history - before joining Luton in 2009.
He re-joined Posh last month as a player/coach.