All the hype and hullabaloo surrounding the start of the Steve Evans era at Peterborough United must make way for a positive, winning performance from the players tomorrow (March 10, 3pm kick off).
That’s new manager Evans’ own opinion as he starts his reign with a humdinger of a contest against League One play-off rivals Charlton Athletic at the ABAX Stadium.
It’s the start of a huge week for Posh who play a re-scheduled fixture at bottom club Bury on Tuesday (March 13) before travelling to managerless Oxford United the following Saturday (March 24).
It’s a great chance for Posh to force themselves into the top six, but Evans admits he can only do so much.
“There’s been a real buzz about the place this week,” Evans enthused. “And the players have taken on board the different things we have tried to introduce. Talented players tend to grasp new ideas quickly and boy we have some talented players at this club.
“I knew we had good players here, but watching them close up in training has made me realise they are even better than I thought. It’s often the case when a new manager turns up that the training intensifies because players who weren’t in the first team think they now have a better chance of gettihg picked.
“There is an imbalance to the squad. We are spoilt for choice in some areas and have very little choice in other areas, but there are players here who would grace the Championship.
“And they have the perfect opportunity in 12 games to prove it. I will feel a million dollars when I walk out at the stadium tomorrow, but it’s down to the players to deliver the sort of performance that earns valuable three points.
“My pride won’t win the game. I won’t stay in this job because of my relationship with the chairman and the new board. I will stay because we win games and we arew successful.
“If I’d been here last summer we would be in the play-offs now, but all we can do is look ahead and make sure we collect as many of the available points as possible.
“It’s a fantastic game for everyone tomorrow. We are facing a very talented team with a very experienced League One manager, but it’s a game we want to win as it will set us for the very tough fixtures we still have to play.
“The initial aim for us all is to still be in touch when it’s ‘squeaky bum’ time for the final six games and with the help of our fans we can achieve that.
“You’ll never hear me criticising the Posh fans. I’ve been at London Road during some dark days in League Two and even then I felt the Posh fans stayed with their their team.”
Evans insists he pretty much knows his starting line-up tomorrow, but centre-back Ryan Tafazolli will have a final fitness test on his hamstring problem this morning (March 9).