‘Robbo’ started preparing for next season 48 hours after Posh went up!

It’s not the first Posh promotion in assistant manager Mark Robson’s career, but it’s definitely the one that gives him the most satisfaction.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:02 am
Posh assistant manager Mark Robson (right) with first-team boss Darren Ferguson.

Robson was head coach when Posh last reached the Championship in the 2010-11 season. He was appointed by then manager Gary Johnson and kept on by Darren Ferguson when he returned to the club midway through that season with faithful sidekick Gavin Strachan.

A wise move as it happened. Not only did Posh go up through the League One play-offs they also stayed up comfortably in the Championship the following season before Robson struck out on his own in what turned out to be an unsuccessful spell managing League Two side Barnet.

Posh were relegated without Robson who had graduated to working within the FA Youth set up when Ferguson came calling last summer following the departure of Strachan to Celtic.

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The Posh backroom boys with Mark Robson (left) and Darren Ferguson (second right). Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

“Obviously I can remember the previous promotion really well,” Robson remarked. “We had some top, top players, names that rolled off the tongue, and yet we needed the play-offs to get up.

“This season was so much harder and so different to anything anyone had ever experienced it feels really special.

“To go up automatically is a great achievement for a start. And to finally get over the line in the way we did was just unbelievable. It could only have been bettered by having fans in the stadium because we would have been playing in front of a packed house.

“But we deserved everything we achieved. As a coach it was tough as there was no time to do the work you wanted to do with individuals. Because we were playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, it was just game, recover, prep, game all the time.

“But the management team and the players coped superbly.

There were clear pictures of how we wanted to play. We didn’t tinker too much. We had a couple of systems we played really well and we floated between the two, sometimes in the same game.

“The success all stemmed from the gaffer’s clarity of thought. He made it easier for everyone and I’m sure the players would agree with that.

“I’ve never known a manager who worked so hard. There were times when I felt he was overdoing it and tried to take things off his shoulders, but he was just so focused.

“The players can take great credit from this season. When things weren’t going to plan they still managed to claw themselves back into games and get a result. We had top players who won games for us.

“Everyone will have to step up a notch next season on and off the field. We want to compete as we did last time we were up there.

“If we’d beaten Leeds at home one Saturday lunchtime we’d have gone top a dozen or so games into the season. It shows what can be done.

“I’ve already started prepping. I watched West Brom on Monday night as it looks like they are coming down!”

Ferguson had just one man in mind when his assistant Gavin Strachan left Posh for Celtic at the end of last season.

“My heart was set on Mark Robson,” Ferguson said. “I’d worked with him at the club before and he’s an excellent coach.

“We had to work hard to get him out of the England set-up, but I was delighted when he agreed to return and he has done an outstanding job. It’s been a real team effort with everyone on my staff making

a big contribution.

Sports scientist Craig Smith, analyst Ben Brittain and physio Matt Rogers have all been exceptional and the help from (under 18 manager) Matthew Etherington has been invaluable. He will be a top coach one day.”