FOOTBALL : Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists the squad at London Road are good enough for a top-half finish in the Coca-Cola Championship this season – and he will appoint the manager to lead them to it within the next few days.
Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists the squad at London Road are good enough for a top-half finish in the Coca-Cola Championship this season – and he will appoint the manager to lead them to it within the next few days.
MacAnthony is in the process of interviewing candidates to replace Darren Ferguson after the Scot left London Road by mutual consent on Wednesday, and is confident of a successful first season back in the second tier. Ferguson insisted on Wednesday night he has not already got a job lined up while MacAnthony is hoping to secure a new man at the helm before the end of the week.
“I want it done and dusted in the next few days. We have had over 200 applicants already and managers who are at clubs in the Championship have sent in their CVs to me already,” he said. “The new man won’t be 60. I have a profile of who I am after and a policy of bringing in youth and it is a policy I will continue with.”
He added: “The criteria is someone who can lead us to a top-12 finish and who can sort us out defensively. If we get it right at the back then we can have a hell of a season.
“We had a five to seven year plan to get into the Premier League and the back-to-back promotions were part of that but we didn’t expect to be where we are now, at the bottom of the league. We are better than that.
“I hate it when we make the same mistakes twice and we have done it over and over again this season.
“We have the players to succeed here. We may need a few tweaks here and there, yes the new manager may need to bring in a few but we are conceding two goals a game and it is not rocket science to see why we are struggling.
“Some of the players have lost their confidence, that was evident against Newcastle and we want them to know that we believe in them.”
Ferguson’s departure came after a 48-hour period of speculation and MacAnthony apologised for the manner in which the affair was handled.
“When we agreed to part lawyers got involved and that is why there was the hold up for 48 hours,” he added. “It was unnecessary but that is why we couldn’t release a statement. I apologise to the fans as that was unprofessional. But there was no panic going on. I would have loved for Darren to lead us up, we handed him a four-year contract in the summer but it wasn’t working out and we are bottom of the league.”