Clark dismisses Ferguson factor

Published Add your comment

Football News

Huddersfield manager Lee Clark has dismissed the 'Fergie factor' ahead of the npower League One play-off final at Old Trafford against Peterborough.

Clark's side will look to secure promotion by extending their club-record unbeaten league run to 28 matches against Darren Ferguson's Peterborough, who will be cheered on by father Sir Alex.

The Fergusons are hoping to complete a memorable family double at Huddersfield's expense, with Sir Alex's Manchester United bidding for a fourth Champions League crown against Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday night.

But Clark, a play-off final loser after a penalty shoot-out as a player with Sunderland in 1998, said: "It makes a good story for you people but for us in the real world, we know it doesn't affect the game in anyway whatsoever.

"You've got headlines to write. Darren Ferguson going back to Old Trafford where he was a player and where his father's now the main man.

"But it doesn't affect what my players or the Peterborough players do. Darren will have prepared his players very well, you can rest assured about that and so will we.

"It's about who performs on the day. It's about how the players go about their business on Sunday, so all that stuff we'll leave for the headline makers."

Clark, who won automatic promotion to the top flight with Newcastle in 1993, Sunderland, the season after his shoot-out heartbreak, and with Fulham in 2001, said Darren would always benefit from Sir Alex's experience.

Clark added: "Darren has got an advantage because his father's the best manager in the business and he can always pick up the phone and ask his thoughts on things.

"I know when I've had chance to speak to Sir Alex with regards players, I've tried to pick his brains about other things because I want to learn from the best and he's the very best, so Darren's lucky in that sense.

"But it's about the football players at the end of the day. I'm sure he won't be thinking Darren can affect his game and vice-versa."

Clark, who will choose from the same squad that triumphed 4-2 in their semi-final penalty shoot-out against Bournemouth, said the side which best handled their nerves would win through to the Championship.

Asked where a win would rank in his career in football, Clark added: "Judging by what happened [against Bournemouth] last Wednesday, this would be my biggest achievement.

"When you put that into context of what I've done as a player in terms of winning the Championship three times, being on the verge of winning the Premier League, competing or getting places in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, it's because it's completely different as a manager.

"As a player you just look after yourself and focus on your own job, at the minute I'm focusing on 30 players, making sure they're all happy and getting the right information for us to win the game."

Sir Alex has been told to stay away from Old Trafford.

The order comes from his son, Darren, who claims his father is a jinx.

Ferguson senior watched their semi-final first-leg defeat at MK Dons but steered clear when they won the second leg 2-0 to go through 4-3 on aggregate.

The Posh are taking no chances as they bid to secure promotion back to the Championship.

"Our chairman is the same, he's told his dad to stay away as well," Ferguson told

"We think they are both jinxes. There's a bigger picture, he can watch it on the television."

Ferguson junior will be on familiar territory having began his playing career with United and he hopes his squad will be inspired by their surroundings, as well as by watching the big Wembley showdown first.

"It's been key to be able to train at Carrington and to have a walk around Old Trafford," he added. "We'll also get together and watch the Champions League final.

"Old Trafford is a fantastic theatre - it is called the Theatre of Dreams - and it's a magnificent stadium. When you walk out of that tunnel and look up it seems to go on and on forever.

"It's important the players get a feel for it. The players have to handle the situation when they walk out in front of 70,000 fans.

"I think they will be fine, we have players in the team who will think `I'll have a bit of this' and I'm hopeful they'll go on and put in the right performance.

"The players know if we can perform we will be hard to beat."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Peterborough United
European News
League One
Darren Ferguson

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again