Peterborough United powerhouse Michael Bostwick is fired up for latest Wembley visit

Peterborough United's Michael Bostwick is up for Sunday. Picture: PA Wire Peterborough United's Michael Bostwick is up for Sunday. Picture: PA Wire

Saturday, March 29, 2014
7:45 PM

He may have made more trips to Wembley than the club he now plays for but Michael Bostwick is still as excited as anyone about tomorrow’s showcase game.

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Peterborough United's Britt Assombalonga  - Photo mandatory by-line: Joe Dent/JMP.Peterborough United's Britt Assombalonga - Photo mandatory by-line: Joe Dent/JMP.

Peterborough United make their third visit to the home of English football, and their first to the national game’s rebuilt stadium, when they take on Chesterfield in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. It’ll be a day to remember for all connected with Posh, including the versatile midfielder, even though he will be more familiar to the hallowed turf than most.

The 25-year-old said: “This will be the fourth time I have played at Wembley, but I will remember the experience just like the first one.

“Cup competitions like the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy are important to get the winning mentality going and to get the reward of playing at the home of English football at the end of it is fantastic. We are obviously battling for promotion via the play-offs, so this game against Chesterfield will give us a taster for wanting to get back to Wembley.”

The former Stevenage Borough powerhouse will be looking to get his hands on some silverware while helping his boss Darren Ferguson achieve a rare feat.

Posh’s gaffer would become only the second man to win the competition as both a player and a manager having scored in Wrexham’s 2005 triumph. Sean O’Driscoll is the only other name to have done so previously in the Football League’s cup competition for teams outside of the Championship.

It won’t be an easy task for League One United against lower-level Chesterfield mind. The pre-game favourites have lost five of their last seven matches and are looking over their shoulders as they look to hang onto the final top-six place.

The Spireites’ form of late hasn’t been overly impressive either – they’ve won two of their last seven – but they are closing in on gaining promotion to Peterborough’s current division and sit third in League Two. They also won 2012’s JPT final by beating Swindon Town 2-0.

Keeper Tommy Lee, one of three surviving members from the side that beat the Robins, told the Derbyshire Times: “To play at Wembley is every kid’s dream. At the time I thought that was it, I wouldn’t get another chance to go there. This tournament gives the lower leagues teams an opportunity to go there and achieve something. We’ll be going there all guns blazing again.”

- Gary Roberts will be Chesterfield’s dangerman, according to London Road chief Darren Ferguson.

The left-sided midfielder is recognised as one of League Two’s classiest operators and has scored 11 goals this term. Having also claimed 17 assists, Peterborough’s boss knows the 30-year-old must not be allowed to enjoy his Wembley experience.

Ferguson said: “The boy Roberts is definitely one of the best players in the league I think. He’s got a wand of a left foot so the players are fully aware that he’s one of the stronger players that they’ve got.”

The winger was a youth-team player with Liverpool.

- Red-hot Posh frontman Britt Assombalonga is hoping it’s second time lucky for him in a JPT final.

The 21-year-old, Peterborough’s club record buy from Watford for £1.5m, was on the losing side in last season’s showpiece during a loan stint at Southend United. So the 27-goal hitman wants to make sure he’s on the winning side tomorrow.

Assombalonga said: “It was great to play at Wembley last season but the result was a setback. It’s all about trying to put that right this time and get the victory which would mean a lot for the club and for the fans.”

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