Peterborough United manager Darragh MacAnthony has thrown his weight behind manager Darren Ferguson, but told the players to ‘man up’ and start delivering positive results.
MacAnthony insists Ferguson remains an ‘amazing’ manager who has complete faith in his squad’s ability to cope with Championship football. He now wants the players to repay that faith by starting a climb up the Championship table.
Posh are bottom of the table after losing their first five matches, including a 5-2 defeat last time out at Burnley (September 15). They host Bristol City in the first of two home matches this week tonight (September 18).
MacAnthony said: “I felt for Darren after the Burnley game. I spoke to him before the match and he was optimistic and confident that his team would win so to lose so badly hit him hard.
“Management can be a lonely place and I had to remind Darren after the game how great he is at his job. It has never crossed my mind that we might lose him because it would do the club no good to get rid of the most successful manager we have ever had.
“He is an amazing manager who believes he has assembled a squad more than capable of playing at Championship level. I agree with him and now it’s time for the players to repay that faith.
“They need to get their act together and they need to show the character and ability that they undoubtedly have. They need to be men, shed any doubts and go out and prove they belong in this league.
“I can’t put my boots on and help and nor can the manager or the fans. It’s down to the players to get us moving again. Some have lost form because of fitness issues or a lack of confidence, but we have to forget all that and start performing.
“We all have to ignore what people outside the club are saying. We were written off before a ball was kicked but that was because of our name not because of our achievements.
“After five defeats we are all hurting, but we’re all in it together so we must pull together and show what we’re made of. Tonight would be a great time to start.
“We have five games before the next international break and if we can get 9/10 points from those matches we won’t be far away from the points total we had at the same stage last season.
“Home games are key and we have 21 of them left. London Road must become a very difficult place for Championship teams to visit.”
MacAnthony caused a mild panic among Posh fans by stating on Twitter following the Burnley defeat that he was ‘reviewing his position’. Many interpreted that as a suggestion that the club chairman was about to walk away.
“Those comments were taken out of context,” MacAnthony added. “I meant I was taking time to review how I could help the manager and the club more.
“I was wondering whether or not I needed to spend more time in the UK, or whether or not I could help more financially. I was never thinking about walking off into the sunset.
“I am not the perfect chairman, but I never apologise for who I am. I just want the best for the club.”
Posh picked up 13 points from their first 10 Championship matches last season.
A poll on a Posh fans website shows 90% of fans in favour of Ferguson staying at London Road.
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