Ferguson takes charge...and wants to make the play-offs

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson
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Barry Ferguson is targeting the play-offs for Blackpool, regardless of whether he is their manager or a player.

The Seasiders captain held talks with chairman Karl Oyston last night about taking the vacant manager’s job on a permanent basis.

He’s told the Pool chairman he would only consider taking the role if it was offered to him at least until the end of the season.

Ferguson isn’t interested in a caretaker position, and if that’s the only role on offer he would continue to serve Blackpool as a player only.

It is expected that Ferguson, who turns 36 in 10 days, will be named as the 11th manager of the Karl Oyston era ahead of home Saturday’s game against Doncaster.

He was due to take training today and aims to bring in former Dundee United coach Malky Thomson as his assistant. There may also be roles for former Rangers duo Bob Malcolm and John McGregor.

If Ferguson does take the hot seat, there would clearly be a change of thinking at Bloomfield Road.

Paul Ince always insisted survival was Pool’s only aim this season but Ferguson wants the club to set its sights much higher.

He told The Gazette: “I never look at the negatives – I always remain positive.

“At the start of this season my aim was to get promotion and it will always be the case.

“If it’s not promotion we still have to look at the play-offs. As a person and a player, I still want to make a push for the play-offs.”

Pool are 14th in the Championship, eight points above the relegation zone and nine outside the top six.

If Ferguson is named today it’s believed he’ll move quickly in the transfer market, with Scottish duo Kris Boyd and Alan Hutton high on his wish-list.

And speaking earlier in the week, Ferguson said all his team-mates remain optimistic.

He revealed: “I’m a positive person and all the lads in the dressing room are positive. We need to look at it that way. We need to get out of this mess, then creep into the play-offs.”

Ferguson has been backed to be a huge success in management by former Holland manager Dick Advocaat.

The 66-year-old, who managed Ferguson at Rangers and is now working with Dutch side AZ, said: “Barry is someone with very good pedigree and knowledge. I brought him into the Rangers team when he was just a young boy.

“I didn’t think about him as a future coach because he was so young, but they do say midfielders make the best coaches. I’m confident he can have a good career as a coach.”

One manager who has ruled himself out of the Blackpool job is Neil Warnock.

The former Crystal Palace and Sheffield United boss said: “There’s no chance of me going to Blackpool. It’s a tough job because there’s hardly any money there.

“I think Barry Ferguson will do a good job until the end of the season. I don’t think they’ll go rushing to appoint people.”