Tyler wants to be picked on merit at Peterborough

Mark Tyler is heading back to his former club on Saturday
Mark Tyler is heading back to his former club on Saturday

Hatters keeper Mark Tyler hopes sentiment doesn’t come into play when he makes a long-awaited return to former club Peterborough in the FA Cup second round on Sunday.

The 38-year-old made 486 appearances for Posh over a 15-year career at the ABAX Stadium, and this weekend would be the first time he has been back as a player.

“But for a blip on Saturday, I’ve played quite well, so hopefully the gaffer will take that into consideration.”

Mark Tyler

Luton boss John Still opted to rotate goalkeepers against Crawley Town in the last round though, with Elliot Justham coming in.

Although he has had no assurances over his place, Tyler doesn’t want his Posh connections to cloud the manager’s judgement.

He said: “The gaffer keeps that close to his chest, but I hope it (Peterborough link) doesn’t in a way.

“I think I’ve been all right for the last two months, but for a blip on Saturday, I’ve played quite well.

“So hopefully the gaffer will take that into consideration and we’ll go from there.

“I want to play, Elliot wants to play, so it will be the gaffer’s choice in the end.

“Nothing’s been said to me yet, so I’ll train hard like I do each week and whatever happens, happens.

“I’ll be behind Elliot like he will be with me and it will be a great occasion no matter what.

“It will be nice to hopefully get a good reception and then once the game starts, it’s down to business.”

It’s not just Tyler who has close links with Town’s opponents as Still himself is a former Peterborough manager, while Craig Mackail-Smith was idolised by Posh fans after a prolific spell, scoring 99 goals in just over 200 games.

Scott Griffiths also spent three years at the club, while Josh McQuoid netted the opening goal in Peterborough’s 3-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final win over Chesterfield in 2014.

The keeper continued: “It will be interesting, Craig is a legend there as well, I’m gutted he didn’t get 100 goals for them.

“It will be nice for Scotty to go back and Josh who was there on loan. The gaffer has got special memories there from being a manager there and gave me my debut there.”

When the draw was made, Tyler admitted he could hardly believe it after waiting patiently for such a tie over the years.

He said: “It was bizarre, I was sitting on the sofa with my wife Cindy and the draw came out quite early and we both jumped off the settee and went ‘oh my god’.

“We’ve always wanted it, every FA Cup draw has been the same when Peterborough come out and they draw someone out, it’s like ‘oh no, not this year’.

“Because I played at Peterborough and I’m the second highest appearance maker, it’s more special for me. I’ve got so many contacts and know a lot of people there, so hopefully all my family come along and it should be a great day.”

Although Tyler has been back to the club to see them Peterborough previously, he is yet to step foot into the away side’s changing room too as he added: “This will be the first time I’m going back there as an opposition player.

“I’ve been back and watched them a few times, but haven’t actually set foot on the pitch yet.

“There’s a couple of players still there I played with, I know the goalkeeping coach (Ian Pledger) quite well, and Grant McCann (assistant manager) as well.

“I know the physio (Jonathan Chatfield) really well too, but we’ve got a game, we want to go there to win, it’s the result that matters for Luton Town.”