Darren Ferguson is calm ahead of Peterborough United’s League One play-off semi-final second leg
PUBLISHED: 05:48 13 May 2014
Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson is in a relaxed mood ahead of his troops stepping into the play-off pressure cooker once again this evening.
Posh were fortunate to draw 1-1 at home against Leyton Orient in the first leg of the semi-final on Saturday but the London Road outfit’s manager is in confident mood ahead of tonight’s decisive second meeting.
And even though the Os finished the regular League One season in third, 12 points ahead of United, Ferguson is not dreading a trip to Brisbane Road.
Fergie said: “They are a good team, there is no question about that. I thought on the day (Saturday) they were better than us. But if I was probably in their camp I’d be thinking we could have taken a lead into the second leg. They’ll know as well as we’ll do it’s going to be tight.
“But I’m fine. You’ve got to stay calm. We’ve been in this situation before. We’ve been in this situation before when we’ve had to win a second leg, it’s the same here, and I think the game will be suited more for us.”
Britt Assombalonga’s 33rd goal of the campaign gave Posh a fortuitous lead during the teams’ first encounter – even though he was in an offside position. Moses Odubajo levelled things up midway through the second half to leave the tie in the balance.
Despite admitting his men had been second best, Fergie – who guided United to this season’s Johnstone Paint Trophy glory at Wembley – expects to see an improved showing in east London.
“Really the play-off are always tight. It’s very rare that one team takes a big advantage,” he also told his club’s official website.
“It’s a one-off game, we’re good at one-off games, we’re going to have to go there and get a result and that’s what we’ll try and do. It was horrendous wind (on Saturday), it was really hard conditions. But I think we went too long at times, we missed out the middle of the pitch, and we’ve got to show a little bit more composure.
“But I think the game will suit us better down there. We have to play better, there’s no question about that - but I think we will.”
Ferguson confirmed that his squad contains no injuries and has hinted at minimal changes to his starting line-up.
He added said: “I certainly won’t be making many changes and I wouldn’t expect Orient would make many if any either. The game is evenly poised at 1-1 and we are looking forward to the game. I have watched the game back from the first leg and although Orient had a few chances in front of goal, I don’t think they dominated the game and if Britt takes the chance at 1-0, you never know how things would have ended up. We won there earlier in the season and played well that day and we can take heart from that performance.”
Orient may be unchanged for the second leg. Scott Cuthbert returned for the first game which saw Elliot Omozusi replace left-back Gary Sawyer.
Posh, who have sold out their away allocation of 1,400, have won six of their last 10 games. The match will be played to a finish with extra-time and penalties if required as away goals do not count.