Ferguson said: "I'm very, very ambitious and with my name I cannot afford to fail.
"Pressure is there in any walk of life but you've got to try and be successful.
"If you win enough games you will be fine, if you don't then you will be under pressure.
"But Preston have generally given their managers a chance. History suggests that and that was a big part of me coming here.
"The club has a fantastic tradition, is very stable and has a good base of Championship players with a mix of experience and youth."
The famous Lancashire outfit have not been in the top flight since 1961 but Ferguson is determined to end that run.
He will be forced to work on a limited budget but sees no reason why Preston cannot push hard for promotion this season after last season's play-off semi-final defeat.
He added: "Hopefully we can go one better and get to the promised land (of the Premier League).
"We are eight points off the play-offs with a game in hand and that bodes well.
"The aim definitely is to get there and, along with winning games, my philosophy is to entertain and that's never going to change.
"The fans work all week, they pay their money, and I want them to be proud of watching Preston."
Preston have been regular play-off contenders and have a strong history of appointing Scottish managers.
David Moyes, Craig Brown, Billy Davies and Irvine have all managed the club in the past decade.
Kevin Russell and Scott Taylor, who were part of Ferguson's backroom staff at Peterborough, have also joined North End.
Ferguson said: "That was key. Kevin and I go way back and Scott is a very good coach."
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