Posh tar­get young guns

POSH man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son re­views the 2011/12 Cham­pi­onship sea­son for the Evening Tele­graph.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By ALAN SWANN alan.swann@jpress.co.uk @Alan­swan­net

POSH boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son is ready to put his faith in youth rather than ex­pe­ri­ence as he plots next sea­son’s Cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

If Fer­gu­son’s team build­ing plans come to fruition in the sum­mer, the old­est squad mem­ber on the first day of next sea­son will be just 26.

Fer­gu­son has con­firmed that trans­fer talks are al­ready un­der­way in an at­tempt to land a hand­ful of new play­ers.

He made eight of last sea­son’s squad avail­able for trans­fer ear­lier this week, in­clud­ing 32 year-old mid­fielder Grant Mccann.

Fer­gu­son said: “We like to pick young play­ers who we can im­prove over a pe­riod of time and that’s still the case.

“We could be even younger next sea­son as Grant may go and so might Ge­orge Boyd and they are two of our old­est play­ers.

“I have iden­ti­fied two play­ers who can play in Grant’s po­si­tion and, although I wouldn’t ex­pect any­thing to hap­pen quickly, talks are on­go­ing.”

A quick look at the squad as it stands with­out the play­ers on the trans­fer list or out of con­tract high­lights the ar­eas that re­quire Fer­gu­son’s at­ten­tion.

He will seek just one goal­keeper if Paul Jones de­cides to join Joe Lewis in leav­ing Posh and he al­ready has a po­ten­tial re­place­ment in mind.

Fer­gu­son has tar­get­ted a right­back to chal­lenge Craig Al­cock, but he is happy to leave the left-back slot in the hands of Tommy Rowe.

Wrex­ham cen­tre-back Natha­nial Wright-per­ci­val is ex­pected to join Posh when his cur­rent club’s in­volve­ment with the Blue Square Premier Di­vi­sion play-offs is over, but Posh are cur­rently light in num­bers in both mid­field and up front.

Steve­nage mid­fielder Michael Bost­wick and Northamp­ton play­maker Michael Ja­cobs are two pos­si­ble tar­gets.

Fer­gu­son is keen to find some big­ger, more pow­er­ful for­ward play­ers this sea­son.

“I WAS very con­fi­dent ap­proach­ing the first game of the sea­son that we would be good enough to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

“I know we were get­ting writ­ten off by most peo­ple who re­mem­bered the pre­vi­ous Cham­pi­onship sea­son two years ear­lier.

“But I knew we had learnt our lessons from that sea­son and I also knew what I had in my dress­ing room.

“I felt sure that if we started well we would be okay and I firmly be­lieve that win­ning that first game of the sea­son against Crys­tal Palace was cru­cial.

“Two sea­sons be­fore it took us ages to win a game and that couldn’t hap­pen again. I was happy when the fix­tures came out as, no dis­re­spect to Palace, but they had strug­gled the year be­fore and they weren’t go­ing to be one of the big­ger hit­ters.

“And the way we won by com­ing from be­hind did us the world of good. From then the play­ers be­lieved as I did that we would be okay.

“I can’t pay the squad enough credit though. Some of our foot­ball in the first half of the sea­son was sim­ply fan­tas­tic.

“We were one of the bet­ter foot­balling sides in the Cham­pi­onship and that was no mean feat con­sider- ing the clubs we were up against.

“We were bril­liant against Ip­swich at home, but we also gave a good ac­count of our­selves against other top sides.

“In hind­sight we were al­ways likely to hit the wall at some point and we strug­gled af­ter Christ­mas, but we usu­ally still man­aged to pick up a win when we needed one.

“The games we won in suc­ces­sive weeks against Coven­try and Not­ting­ham For­est over Christ­mas were im­por­tant as were the three home wins we man­aged in March. To beat Read­ing, Black­pool and Le­ices­ter, three top teams, was a great ef­fort.

“And once we picked up a point at Coven­try on Easter Satur­day I felt deep down that we were safe, it was just a ques­tion of get­ting over the line.

“It was a great re­lief when safety was math­e­mat­i­cally con­firmed, but we have not relexed. Plan­ning started for next sea­son be­fore last sea­son was over.

“I have made mis­takes. Cer­tainly not fight­ing harder to keep Ryan Tun­ni­cliffe and Scott Wootton here for longer was one of them.

“Ryan sim­ply hadn’t been play­ing enough games when it be­came time to ex­tend his loan, while I let Scott go be­cause at the time I didn’t be­lieve Ryan Ben­nett was go­ing to leave.

“But over­all it’s been an out­stand­ing sea­son. There is no doubt that stay­ing up is a big­ger achieve­ment than go­ing up in the first place as the dif­fer­ence be­tween League One and the Cham­pi­onship is huge.

“Just how good it’s been will prob­a­bly sink in in two or three weeks time when I’m sit­ting on the beach with my fam­ily!”

POS­SI­BLE TAR­GETS: Michael Ja­cobs and Michael Bost­wick (inset).

MIS­TAKES: Fergie says he should have tried harder to keep Ryan Tun­ni­cliffe (far left) and Scott Wootton (left) at Posh longer.

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