It was the first time Posh had lost a home Championship match by more than one goal this season and Ferguson admits he was shocked by the performance.
He understands why supporters were calling for his head and pointing out the limitations of his playing squad, but he remains confident the current Posh personnel will scrap their way out of trouble.
Posh are three points from safety with at least one game in hand over all their relegation rivals except Barnsley. That gap could grow if Reading gain a positive result at home to Luton on Wednesday (January 19) when fifth-bottom Hull City are also in action at home to third-placed Blackburn Rovers.
“Our fans have been great this season,” Ferguson said. “They’ve stuck with us, but we cannot serve another performance up like the one we delivered on Saturday. That wasn’t good enough and we are all going to get criticised after that and rightly so.
“Bad results and performances get bad reactions I get that. People will say ‘change the manager’ and the players are all awful. People want instant success, but I say stick with us. We are all hurting just like the fans. I don’t see anyone chucking the towel in. Unfortunately you get games, and it’s not a nice thing for a manager to to admit, when you just have to accept the other team was much better than you on the day.
“We made errors that were ruthlessly punished which is usually the case in this division and I changed formation early because they were getting through us too easily, but the game was just too open and that suited them because of the quality they have. We had a good 10 minutes at the start of the second-half, but other than that they were miles better than us.
“I didn’t see the performance coming. Every now and again a performance like that comes from nowhere. We will get outplayed at times this season, but that’s the first time it’s happened at home. That’s the first time we haven’t competed at home.
“We’ve had a good chat with the players today and there were no raised voices and no shouting. We know it wasn’t good enough and it can’t be repeated, but we will stick together. I will expect a reaction and a strong performance this weekend though.
“We are in a mini-league now of six teams and we have to finish in the top three. Birmingham City are possibly close enough to be caught as well.
“We just have to find a way to stay in the league and I believe we can. If we finish fourth bottom with a low number of points than so be it, We can use the summer to iron out the problems.
“One thing’s for sure February could be the biggest month we’ve had for years.”
Posh play relegation rivals Cardiff, Reading, Derby and Hull in February. Posh travel to Birmingham next Tuesday (January 25) after a trip to promotion candidates West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (January 22).