Players force their way into manager's thinking ahead of trip to Southend United this weekend.

Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy game may not have ended the way Peterborough United wanted after a penalty shoot-out defeat at MK Dons, but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance, in particular the excellent second half comeback and certain individual performances.

Moving forward the focus shifts to the weekend and whether any of the players on the pitch on Tuesday have managed to play their way into contention for selection at Southend.

Certain players have clearly forced their way into Peterborough United manager Steve Evans’ thinking ahead of the weekend as The Posh look to get back to winning ways in the league after the 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers.

“We’ve got some players who performed at the top of their game and as a management group, that is what we want. They know they have to perform to get into the team.  I think anybody who watches that game arrives to identify Jamie Walker, he was the standout player on the evening.

“Ivan Toney missed three or four chances, Ivan Toney doesn’t miss three or four chances as a normal thing and sometimes you get a game like that. But everyone must have been impressed with him, I certainly know the opposition manager was who thought that outside of scoring the goals he deserved he thought his performance was stunning.”

Marcus Maddison made his first start of the season in the draw with MK Dons and Evans was impressed with his second half showing as he helped his team-mates come back from 3-0 down to clinch a 3-3 draw.

“In the first half he wasn’t as effective as he should’ve been, but in the second half I thought he was absolutely stunning, and the coincidence of that is that we gave him the ball and if you give Marcus Maddison the ball he’ll deliver.”

Looking towards the weekend Evans made it clear that Southend will provide a stern challenge. “With the manager’s capabilities and the playing squad that he’s got, we’re going to be expecting a real tough afternoon and when you look at the fixtures in League One this weekend, on paper, we probably have got the toughest opponent.

By Alexander MacRae