BARRY Ferguson is thriving on the pressure of trying to get Blackpool back to the Premier League.
Despite Tuesday’s 2-0 reverse at Leicester, Pool remain well positioned in the Championship – in eighth place, two points from the play-offs.
They know they have to win games on a regular basis to finish in the top six but no-one is relishing the challenge more than the skipper.
Ferguson has been increasingly influential over the last few weeks and is set to be the key man in the centre of the pitch for the remainder of the season.
The Scot’s team-mates have quickly found out what the club’s big-money summer buy is like – a straight-talker not afraid to speak his mind if he feels someone isn’t pulling their weight.
But the 33-year-old, who has captained Scotland and Rangers during his lengthy career, makes no apologies for his on-pitch manner – he says winning is what it’s all about.
He said: “It was driven into me as a young boy at Rangers – I’m straight down the middle and honest, and some people don’t like that but I’m not afraid to tell somebody the truth or what I think about something.
“I said a few years ago that I love to moan, and I moan because I want to win every game I’m involved in and every training session.
“I want to help everybody as much as I can.
“But I don’t really take note of what anybody else says – it’s all about winning.
“I actually enjoy the pressure, and I loved captaining Rangers and everything that came with it. Drawing or losing wasn’t acceptable and it was a disaster if you didn’t win.
“It’s one of the reasons I came to Blackpool, knowing the pressure we would have to get back into the Premier League straight away.”
Ferguson says he is proud to be leading the Seasiders.
“I was absolutely honoured to be given the captain’s armband, though I think there are a fair few people in that dressing room who could wear the armband and do a fantastic job,” he said.
“There’s more than just one leader at the football club.
“If you are going to be successful, then you need 11 leaders on the pitch who will take responsibility and rise to the occasion.”