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Sykes ready for Posh test

Academy graduate happy with 'massive season' so far

27 January 2020

Ross Sykes will come up against the top scorer in League One in Ivan Toney tomorrow night – but it holds no fears for him.

Peterborough striker Toney has been on-fire with 20 goals this season and, ahead of the transfer window closing on Friday, has been attracting attention.

His attacking partner Mo Eisa is not far behind with 15 while Marcus Maddison has 10 for the season, with eight assists.

Posh are the highest scorers in League One but defender Sykes is only worried about Stanley.

“It is a big test for me,” said the 20-year-old Burnley-born player who came through the Academy at Accrington, after being released from the Clarets aged 13.

“We know they have good players but we can’t worry about them, we just have to worry about ourselves and what we can do.”

It has been a rise up the ranks for Sykes who is now commanding a regular place in the heart of the Stanley defence.

“I was speaking to assistant manager Jimmy Bell the other day and three years ago, I went out on loan to Southport which was a big learning curve for me.

“The season after I made my debut and played around 20 games and this season I have played every game bar a few.

“Time has got really quickly but this season has been massive for me but I just have to take it step by step.

“Along the way, I have picked up a lot of experience. I got used to playing against Billy Kee every day in training in the last couple of seasons and that helped me a lot and being alongside Yozzer (Mark Hughes) is huge for me, he is so experienced and I can learn a lot from him.”

As well as in defence, 6ft 7” Sykes has been employed as an emergency centre forward when the Reds have been chasing the game and he admits he relishes that role.

“I want to get to 10 goals this season, that was my aim at the start and I have three so far so I have got to try and get there in the second part of the season.

“I like going up front, I have done that from an early age and I always enjoy it. My height helps!”

Sykes will be hoping to make a chance count against Peterborough as the Reds look for their first league win of 2020.

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