Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has confirmed the reason behind dropping midfielder Nathaniel Mendez-Laing from the first-team is because the player returned from the summer break too unfit for action.

The former Wolves-man was a concrete figure in Posh's first-team last season and put in some great performances nearing the conclusion of the season, but since competitive football has returned, he is yet to feature for Peterborough.

Ferguson's men have started brightly this year picking up two wins from two, a 1-0 victory against Swindon Town in the league and a 5-1 win against Colchester United in the Capital One Cup.

However, Mendez-Laing featured for Posh's reserves yesterday and impressed the coaching staff at London Road, but Ferguson has admitted that the player isn't fit enough for the first team just yet.

Ferguson said to Peterborough Today: “Mendez didn’t come back to the club anywhere near fit enough. Gone are the days when you can come back overweight and use pre-season to catch up.

“Nat’s a good player with the potential to be very good, but he knows what we expect and it’s up to him to force his way back into the side.

“We will play a reserve team match in each of the next few weeks and to be fair the attitude of the whole team in the game this week was very good.

“Obviously it featured many players who haven’t been selected for the first-team just yet, but they realise there is no point in sulking so they got their heads down and got on with it.

Despite scoring six goals in two games, Ferguson has also confirmed that the club are looking into signing a new striker and he has admitted that they should capture one before the deadline.

“I am still searching for a striker, but these things take time. We spent a lot of time chasing Britt Assombalonga before we got him.

“We are still keen to off-load a few players as well, but as far as I know no-one is close to leaving.

“I’m only going to loan out players to clubs that play good football and they need to be sure of playing in the first-team or there is no point.”

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