History suggests Peterborough United shouldn’t fret too much about a slow start to Darren Ferguson’s latest managerial reign at London Road.
Posh have picked up a solitary point from three games since Ferguson replaced Steve Evans as Posh boss last month, and that came courtesy of a last-minute equaliser from Joe Ward at Bristol Rovers.
Posh have subsequently lost at home to Plymouth to a late goal and 3-1 in a controversial contest at League One play-off rivals Doncaster on Saturday (February 9).
There are plenty of mitigating circumstances. Player ill-discipline has led to Posh playing consecutive second halves with 10 men and an injury-free season under Evans is already a thing of the past. Winger Siriki Dembele will miss the most of the rest of the season with knee ligament damage and Ward left the Doncaster game on crutches.
But Ferguson also started his other Posh managerial stints slowly.
When he first arived, following a shock, left-field appointment by chairman Darragh MacAnthony in January 2007, Ferguson also picked up one point from his first three matches in charge of Posh. He took over a team that had lost their previous seven League Two matches and the first three results under his care were 0-1 at Lincoln, 1-1 at home to Swindon and 2-3 at Bristol Rovers. Ferguson won his fourth match 3-0 at home to Wrexham and went on to win promotions in his first two full seasons in charge.
Ferguson’s return to the club in January, 2011 was followed by a win at home to Hartlepool (4-0) either side of defeats at Brighton (1-3) and Colchester (1-2). Posh won promotion to the Championship through the League One play-offs that season, but then they did have the likes of Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd, Lee Tomlin and Grant McCann in that squad.
John Barnwell also picked up just one point from his first three matches in charge at the start of the 1977-78 season, but Posh went on to miss out on promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history on goal difference.
Gary Johnson is the only manager in Posh history to have lost this first three Football League games, but he took over a Posh team that had already been relegated from the Championship towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign.