Darren Ferguson insists he and his Peterborough United players are up for one of the toughest fights of their careers.
Posh travel to Leyton Orient for a League One fixture tomorrow (December 13, 3pm kick-off) seeking to improve on a dismal run of one point from their last six games. It’s a run of results that has put manager Ferguson under pressure and damaged the confidence of his young playing squad.
But Ferguson revealed that no-one at the club is moping about feeling sorry for themselves. Instead they are determined to battle their way out of trouble.
Ferguson said: “There has been a lot of hard work at this football club on and off the field and I am determined to see the job through. Of course I am under pressure, but I am trying my hardest to turn things around and there is no doubt in my mind that the players are with me.
“Our confidence has been knocked, but we are going to Orient to fight hard on and off the ball and hopefully we will get that little bit of luck that we were missing when losing at Colchester in the FA Cup last weekend (December 7).
“The chairman has been as supportive as he can be, but it’s staring me in the face what will happen if we keep losing matches. If I was a betting man I’d say that the chairman doesn’t want to let me go, but it will soon come to the point, if we don’t start winning games, when he won’t have any choice.”
Orient, who beat Posh in the League One play-off semi-finals last season, have endured a miserable campaign. They have just appointed their fourth manager of the season and they have won just once at home in League One all season, but Ferguson remains wary of what remains a talented and experienced squad.
Ferguson added: “They had a great season last season and in the summer they added several experienced players to their squad. It hasn’t worked out for them for whatever reason and they’ve had no stability behind the scences.
“But they have some quality players, some of whom excelled in League One last season. They have a new manager on Saturday again so it might mean a change of approach. I’m surprised they have struggled, but as we have found out in the past, games aren’t won on paper.
“I imagine Orient’s confidence won’t be sky high so it might be a good time to play them, but then they are probably saying the same about us. We played Yeovil earlier this season when they hadn’t won at home for ages and they beat us.”
Ferguson has star man Marcus Maddison available tomorrow, but he might be deployed from the substitutes’ bench. There’s a strong chance that Harry Beautyman, a former Orient youngster, could start his first game for Posh following his loan move from non-league Welling United.
Experienced midfielder Grant McCann is unlikely to be involved, especially if Ferguson retains the midfield diamond for this game. Craig Mackail-Smith is expected to start alongside fellow loan striker Aaron Mclean.
“Grant knew at the start of the season that he wouldn’t be involved as much,” Ferguson stated. “He has been concentrating on coaching the younger players, but I could well need him again over a busy Christmas period.
“If I play a diamond there is only one holding midfield place available and that would probably go to my captain, Jack Payne, but Grant could still have a role to play on the pitch in the future. A lot would depend on the formation I use.
“Marcus will be in the squad at Orient. He missed some training because of illness so he might not last 90 minutes so I have a decision to make over whether or not to start him.
“Harry has done really well since he stepped foot into the building. I like him a lot. He understands the systems we use and he is the sort of bubbly character who could give the whole club a lift.”