'˜What a great time to be a Peterborough United fan'
Peterborough United manager Steve Evans insists it's a great time to be a Posh fan.
A home game against expected League One promotion rivals Barnsley tomorrow (October 6, 3pm) is the latest in a series of big matches for a free-scoring side playing entertaining, attacking football.
Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Sunderland kept Posh in second place with 28 goals scored - six more than any other League One team.
To mantain that lofty position Posh will have to improve their home form. They haven’t won any of their last three games at the ABAX.
“Ww’ve played a lot of top sides lately and we’ve only lost a very tight game to a very good Portsmouth side who are top of the league,” Evans said. “And we have another big game tomorrow against a team who are certain to be there or thereabouts at the top at the end of the season.
“Barnsley have lost just one player from last season’s Championship squad and he has been replaced. They are a good side with a terrific fanbase who will give them great support tomorrow.
“But we are also a good side with great support. We have delivered some superb displays this season and scored some quality goals. This is a great time to be a Posh fan. When I was driving out of the city on Saturdays to manage other clubs I would also want to be at the ABAX for a game like this.
“In some eyes Barnsley are the best team in the division. I have some very positive reports about them, but they will know they are in for a tough game at our place.
“I’m not obsessing about our home form. In May if we are celebrating promotion no-one will care where we picked up our points. I’d rather we picked up most points at home purely because we want to send 6-7,000 of our fans home from a game happy, but my Rotherham team that went up from this division won 14 away games and only 10 at home.
“I do know that if we replicate the second-half display at Sunderland for 80-90 minutes in many other games this season we will be a Championship club at the end of the season.
“What I saw in that game was a load of good individual players working hard for the team. That is a winning recipe in any team. There was probably a time when a point away from home at a huge club like Sunderland would have prompted handshakes and fist pumps all round, but the players were subdued after the game. They thought we should have won and they were right.
“It just goes to show the belief we have in the camp.
“I’m really not bothered about how many goals we let in either, as long as we score more than the opposition. I’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0.
“Over 25% of the league games will have been played after this weekend so the table will have taken shape. We’ve had an excellent start and now we need the same in the middle part of the season followed by an outstanding finish.”
Midfielder George Cooper is back in the Posh squad after recovering from injury. Marcus Maddison and Ryan Tafazolli have both been ill, but are expected to feature tomorrow.
Maddison and Joe Ward could start tomorrow after impressing as second-half substitutes at Sunderland.
Tomorrow’s match is all-ticket. Barnsley have sold out their 1,700 allocation.