Darren Ferguson faced the press ahead of Saturday's home clash with league leaders Cardiff City.
Darren Ferguson heads into Saturday’s game against Cardiff City knowing that his Peterborough United side are guaranteed to move out of the bottom three with a victory, with fellow relegation fighters Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley playing each other.
However, although he concedes that it is an added incentive for the team, Ferguson still expects there to be a lot of the changes in a typically unpredictable Championship division before the end of the season.
‘It [the relegation zone] will chop and change – different teams will be in it and different teams will be out of it. But all that matters is that you are out of it on May 4th and that is all I am looking at. If we get three points on Saturday it gets us out of the bottom three, but you can soon go back into it if you don’t keep your consistency. And that’s the key for us - we’re consistent at the moment.
‘We’ve got a big week and there is no point in us saying it’s a massive game; we know how important it is. No-one can really tell how many wins we need to be able to get out of the bottom three because, as we’ve found when we’ve won, most other teams keep winning. There is a lot of teams in it though and nobody with under 50 points is safe so we just have to keep doing what we’re doing, picking up the points and hopefully keeping this run going,’ Ferguson said.
This consistency has seen Posh lose only two of their last 11 games and a 1-0 away win against Blackpool, in their last game, pleased the Posh boss.
‘All the proof that I, or anybody else, needed about whether we’ve got the temperament or the character was shown at Blackpool,’ Ferguson said. ‘It was a fantastic effort in terms of grinding out the three points.
We’ve shown that we’ve got two sides to us which I was really pleased with. They’ve had a lot of draws there – including one with Leicester. So to go there and keep a clean-sheet is a really good result.’
It was another victory that could be added to Posh’s list of excellent away wins this season, but their form at London Road hasn’t been quite as good. Posh have won just five games in front of their own fans this season and Ferguson realises that this is something that needs to be amended before the end of the campaign.
‘In a normal season we’ve relied on our home and with four home games left you might think we need four wins, so go and get 100% at home. However, our home form hasn’t been good for one reason or another, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but hopefully at this stage of the season it can pick up. It needs to as we are putting a lot of pressure on our away results.
‘We’re capable of doing it and we’re due a performance at home. I felt we deserved something against Birmingham and against Ipswich it was very tight, but at this part of the season there isn’t much in any games.’
If they are to turn their form around they are going to have to do it the hard way, though, with Cardiff sitting at the top of the table. That said, Posh did pull off one of the shocks of the season when they went to Wales and won at the Cardiff City Stadium and the 41-year-old Scot believes that performance shows what his side are capable of.
‘I think we showed with a great deal of confidence down there. If you didn’t know us and you didn’t know Cardiff you’d think we were at the top of the league. We showed a lot of belief to take the game to them and we played with a good tempo. But we understand they’re a good team and they’ve got a lot of character in their team. We’ve got to be aware of that.'
'They’ve scored most of their goals in the last 15 minutes of games which always tells you something about teams so it’s going to be a very tough game, but we’ve got to put a good performance in. There’s never two games of football that are the same and there won’t be any complacency from us, and certainly not from Cardiff. There wasn’t any at their place, we were just the better team on the day and I think their manager said that after the game. Everyone knows anyone can beat anyone in this league. The team that is going to cause us problems is ourselves. We’ve shown we’re capable and we can beat anyone in the league. We’ve just got to get consistent performances.’
The season is really starting to hot-up now and with only four games to play, supporters can have a massive influence on how well a club does.
‘The fans have just got to get behind us, no-one wants us to be in any other division than the Championship,’ Ferguson said. ‘They’ve got to be patient because of the way we play and I think that’s maybe something to do with the fact that we’ve been better away, because you can get control of the game. That’s all we try to do – get possession of the ball – and that’s not going not change. I think the players can feel they are at the business end of the season, we’ve had a decent March as we tend to do and hopefully we can finish it off,’ Ferguson concluded.