Darren Ferguson insists the chance to manage Peterborough United for the third time came right out of the blue.
Ferguson replaced Steve Evans as Posh boss on Saturday (January 26) in a move that took the football world by surprise.
Posh had consolidated sixth place after a creditable 0-0 home draw with Charlton when chairman Darragh MacAnthony axed Evans and re-instated the most successful manager in the club’s history.
Ferguson was at the recent Posh home game with Rochdale and was seen taking notes, but that was an entirely co-incidental visit.
He did however waste no time in accepting the challenge of steering Posh to promotion from League One and his ‘special relationship’ with MacAnthony played a part.
“The chairman contacted me on Friday and it was a case of ‘if i was to make a change would you be interested?’ Ferguson revealed. “And then at 6pm on Saturday he offered me the job. The rest is already history I guess.
“It was a shock. I’d been at the Rochdale game taking notes because Posh were soon to be playing a team who had shown interest in me. That’s all. I watch a lot of League One games and Posh are stil my local club.
“To be honest it must have been a bigger shock when I was first appointed here 12 years ago. Now that was a gamble. The chairman took a huge punt on me, but we quickly enjoyed some great times together.
“We had our ups and downs which is inevitable when you stay at the same club for so long, but I would still describe our relationship as a strong professional one. I’ve always said the most important relationship is between the manager and chairman and I still believe that.
“When I left the first time we were both young and probably regretted how it happened. The chairman justifiably let me go the second time. Getting relegated from the Championship on the final day of the season with 54 points took a lot out of me even though I soldiered on for a bit longer.
“I just see this as an exciting challenge. We decided a contract until the end of the season was the right way to go. I can just spend three months thinking about 17 games and winning promotion. There will be no distractions.
“It won’t be easy. There are some strong teams above us in the league, but we will work had and see where it gets us.
“The last time I came back we were fifth and this time we are sixth so we will see what happens.
“There are differences at the club though. They now have the training ground I always wanted when I was here before!”
Ferguson reckons there is a chance of one player being added to the squad before the January transfer window closes on Thursday, but he won’t arrive before tomorrow’s League One game at lowly Bristol Rovers (January 29).
Ferguson has also been discussing on-loan striker Jason Cummings’ future, a decision on which will be made tonight.
There will be no changes to the backroom staff apart from the addition of Gavin Strachan as assistant manager/coach. Goalkeeper Mark Tyler and fitness coach Lee Taylor will continue in their roles.
Ferguson was plucked from relative obscurity to take up his first managerial post with Posh in January 2007. He took Posh up from League Two in 2007-08 and guided them to promotion again from League One the following season.
Ferguson left with Posh bottom of the Championship in November, 2009, but made a dramatic return in January, 2011 and promptly steered Posh to promotion back to the Championship with a League One play-off final win over Huddersfield at Old Trafford four months later.
Posh were relegated from the Championship after two seasons. Ferguson stayed and led Posh to the League One play-offs - the only manager to do so since relegation in 2013 - the following season when they lost to Orient in the semi-finals. Posh also won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy that season.
Ferguson was sacked in February, 2015 after a poor run of form and subsequently managed Doncaster Rovers to a relegation and a promotion. He left Doncaster in the summer.