Keith Hill reflected on an ‘exceptional’ performance as Tranmere Rovers booked their place in the semi-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Peterborough United.
Goals from Danny Lloyd and Paul Lewis set the Whites on their way to the final four of the competition, despite the Posh striking late on through Jonson Clarke-Harris spot-kick.
Seven changes were made to the starting-eleven that were victorious last Saturday at Morecambe, with Joe Murphy, Sid Nelson, George Ray, Liam Ridehalgh, Lee O’Connor, Kieron Morris and Lloyd coming into the side on Tuesday evening.
The Tranmere boss praised the efforts of his players as he looked ahead to the next stage of the competition.
Hill said: “We changed shape and wanted to give players an opportunity. I thought it was a good performance and we were exceptional at times, against a very good League One side.
“There’s a lot of players who think they should be playing. When they get the opportunity, they have to prove they’re capable of coming in. Games like this create opportunities and create belief and trust between a manager and player.
“It’s a big deal, a semi-final, and you can’t underestimate it. The early group stages of this competition can be a little bit laborious but I’ve always liked this competition format. I was against it right at the beginning, but the competition brings reward and an opportunity to potentially go to Wembley.”
Goalscorer of Rovers’ second on the night, Lewis, was named captain of the side for the first time and made a positive impression versus the Posh.
Explaining the decision to hand Tranmere’s No.22 responsibility of the side, Hill said: “His behaviour merits giving him the captaincy tonight. I could have given it to a lot of the players but I think he needs to be rewarded. I don’t know how he feels about it, but I thought his performance levels were outstanding.
“It was an amazing goal, and a Premier League level cross. We played some outstanding football in the second-half and competed. As long as we compete, we’re always going to have a chance with the calibre of player we have in the squad.”