Peterborough United boss believes his side can hurt Derby County, but he's wary of a Rams backlash
Ferguson has been delighted with his side’s response to a horrible home defeat against Cheltenham in their last London Road outing. Two subsequent away wins with eight goals scored in total moved Posh to within four points of the fifth-placed Rams and sixth-placed Bolton Wanderers.
Derby suffered a shock home defeat of their own at the hands of Fleetwood Town last weekend which led to some scathing comments from manager Paul Warne and the local media. Ferguson also hammered his players after the Cheltenham horror show.
"I have no doubts Derby will respond positively to the result last week," Ferguson said. “Results like that can happen – it happened to us in our last home game – and it’s often how you react that becomes important.
"We reacted superbly to win two very tricky away games and Paul Warne will be looking for the same. We have to be aware of that.
"Derby have too much experience and too much quality to struggle at League One level for long, but we also have quality and experience.
"We know if we get everything right we will give them problems and that’s how we are preparing. We will expect a tough game against a wounded team led by a manager with a successful record in League One, but we will concentrate on how we can hurt them.
"What recent results have done is given us a chance to get to within a point of the play-off places and we haven’t been that close for a long time. We would also get to within a point of Derby. We’ve given everyone some hope again.
"The result on Saturday won’t define our season. If we lose we won’t be out of it, but we can’t afford many slip ups now. The key element for all teams in the remaining games is consistency
“It’s a big game for sure, but we get three points for beating Derby, the same as we’d get for beating Oxford the following week.
"Yet we can’t lose sight of the fact we are playing one of the teams directly above us so three points would be big.
"It’s certainly a game the players and fans can look forward to. There will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere.”
Posh are without teenage centre-back Ronnie Edwards, who is on England Under 20 duty, and on-loan centre-back Kell Watts, although fit again, won’t be considered for selection.
There are no other fitness issues for Posh. Josh Knight, who scored when Posh lost 2-1 at Derby in August, is expected to replace Edwards
Bolton don’t play in League One again until April 7 so if Posh beat Derby and Oxford (April 1) at home in their next two fixtures they would definitely step into a play-off place.