Peterborough boss Evans hails ‘huge character’ Tomlin

Boss Steve Evans saluted loan star Lee Tomlin after Peterborough climbed back into the play-off places.

Boss Steve Evans saluted loan star Lee Tomlin after Peterborough climbed back into the play-off places.

Tomlin hit a 30th birthday belter in the first league appearance of his second spell as a Posh player to set them on the way to a 2-1 victory against struggling Rochdale.

The forward’s 23rd-minute goal was all the home side had to show for a dominant first-half display and Marcus Maddison was then denied by a post in the second period.

Substitute George Cooper struck a second goal with six minutes to go but Dale went down fighting as they suffered a fourth successive defeat.

Manchester United loanee Ethan Hamilton marked his debut with a 30-yard cracker, but Peterborough held on in a nervy finale.

Evans said: ‘We felt we needed to make changes of personnel this month and that freshness the likes of Lee and the other new lads provide will be good for us.

‘Lee is simply a top, top player and we are very fortunate to have him back at this clubas long as he behaves himself!

‘He is a huge character with a big voice that the players respect and look up to. You see when a player scores what the dressing room thinks of him, and all the lads ran to him after his goal.

‘It’s been far too long since we sent our supporters home happy on a Saturday.

‘I think a 6-0 or 7-0 win would have been justice for the performance we produced, but we never make things easy for ourselves. There was a real determination from players and fans alike to see it through.’

Rochdale boss Keith Hill said: ‘We’ve been losing games and conceding a lot of goals so confidence is at a minimum.

‘I’m disappointed with the result as I felt we could have got something from the game, but overall I’m happy with the performance and the fact we didn’t give up provided me with a lot of encouragement.

‘We’re in a 19-game season which began today and we have to come up with a battle plan to stay in the division.

‘We know it’s going to be difficult but we’ve done it before and there are a lot of positives in my brain after this game.

‘We’re in a much better position than we were at the same stage of last season and I’m certainly not stood here full of doom and gloom.

‘We have to retain clarity and remember our goal, which is to retain our League One status.’