Peterborough United manager piles the pressure on Derby County, praises Wayne Rooney and expects his players to stand up to a hostile atmosphere

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has piled the pressure on Derby County ahead of their crunch Championship relegation battle at Pride Park tomorrow (February 19, 3pm).

By Alan Swann
Friday, 18th February 2022, 2:26 pm
Posh boss Darren Ferguson.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson.

Ferguson is full of praise for manager Wayne Rooney for the job he’s done in bringing Derby back from the dead this season. The Rams effectively started the season on minus 21 points, but if they beat Posh tomorrow they will leap-frog them and possibly move to within two points of safety.

“Wayne has done an excellent job,” Ferguson stated. “There are no coaching badges to help him deal with what’s been thrown at him this season. He’s not just been managing a team, he’s been managing the whole club.

“But they now have a different sort of pressure to deal with because most people now expect them to get out of trouble. There’s a lot riding on the game tomorrow because if we win we are six points ahead of them with a game in hand, while they will overtake us if they win.

Ronnie Edwards is back in the Posh squad for the game at Derby.

“They are a good team though. They are very fluent with excellent rotation so will have to communicate well and keep gaps between us down to a minimum.

“I’ve seen positive signs in our last couple of games though. We have been getting the basics right in terms of the hard work and commitment and now we need to get the hardest part right and start scoring some goals.

“We need to keep our aggression, but we need to find a ruthless streak up front. We have some good forwards and we need one of them to start a scoring run. That wil give confidence to the rest of the side.”

Posh could recall Jack Marriott to face his old club. Teenage defender Ronnie Edwards is back in the matchday squad after recovering from injury for a game which will be played out in front of over 30,000 fans, including 1,800 from Posh.

“We will have to manage the early part of the game,” Ferguson said. “We will need to stand up to 28,000 home fans contesting every decision, but these are the games, with big crowds in an excellent stadium, that make us want to play at this level.

“It’s been a tough season for the youngest squad in the division. They have had two seasons of winning matches and now they have to deal with losing games which is never easy.

“Jack Marriott will be involved. He had a dip after coming back strongly from his injury. He has nothing to prove to Derby though.

“We have players who will suit the system we are currently playing - Jorge Grant for one - but others who won’t. I have to pick the best team rather than the best individuals”