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Terry Pierce - Ferguson Junior calm under pressure

Published: 23 Nov 2010 - 09:09:13

Darren Ferguson takes after his father when it comes to confidence in his own ability.

Never short of a word or two, the outspoken young boss built up quite a reputation at the beginning of his managerial days as he lead Peterborough United to the Championship. Not content with survival, after guiding United back to the second tier a couple of years ago the former Wrexham, Wolves and Manchester United midfielder claimed he was hopeful of a play-off challenge.

But he quickly changed his tune after a terrible start to the season and, with the Posh firmly entrenched in the bottom three, he left for Preston. Unfortunately for the Lancashire side, the whole sorry pattern seems to have repeated itself.

Hopes were high ahead of Fergie Junior's first full season in charge, especially with the prospect of a favour or two travelling up the M6 from Old Trafford. But any pre-season optimism has been well and truly washed away by a painful combination of financial trouble off the pitch and poor performances on it, leaving the Lilywhites rooted to the foot of the table and already facing an up-hill battle for survival.

Lying six points adrift of safety and with one win in their last nine - a run which includes home defeats against Scunthorpe, Hull and Barnsley - the Deepdale side are now in grave danger of losing touch at the foot of the Championship. And that can only mean one thing for Ferguson - pressure.

Pressure from the fans and pressure from the media.But, it appears, not pressure from within the club.If some reports are to be believed, the Preston players held a meeting after the recent home defeat to Hull to show support for their struggling gaffer.

Andy Lonergan, the experienced goalkeeper, has come out to the press and stated that the players are to blame for the shocking start to the season.And Preston chairman Maurice Lindsay, who took over in the summer, has also publicly backed his manager, instead choosing to blame the poor season on the previous owners and injuries.

Lindsay has also put his money where his mouth is and completed the loan signings of Ritchie De Laet, Micheal Tonge and Danny Pugh, three players who would improve all but the strongest Championship sides.

Preston should be congratulated for publicly supporting their boss, and it can only help as he battles to turn their season around. But one can only feel that if results do not improve soon, he may soon become accountable and find himself knocking on his father's door for a job, not a loan player.

Gills away-day pain finally eased

In other news, a small mention for Gillingham, who ended the Football League's longest run without an away win last weekend with a 1-0 victory at Oxford.

The Gills and their long-suffering away fans hadn't celebrated a win on the road for 35 games, a run stretching back to May 2009. And what a perfect time to finally end the unenviable record, as the win lifted the Kent club above their hosts and away from the bottom two.

FOLLOW TERRY ON TWITTER @telpierceDSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:terry pierce
Terry was born and bred in Wiltshire, and is a massive Swindon fan - travelling the length of the country most weekends to watch the 'mighty' Reds. He also manages a successful(ish) Sunday league side, and his life pretty much revolves around football. Five-year-old Terry was in the crowd when Swindon won promotion to the Premier League in 1993 with a 4-3 play-off win against Leicester. He cried after every goal. Read Terry's thoughts every week on life outside the Premier League. Follow Terry on Twitter @telpierce.

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