BLACKPOOL’S players agree they have signed a captain fantastic in Barry Ferguson.
The 33-year-old midfielder has been a Championship ever-present so far and has made a big impression on his team mates – from the longest serving to Pool’s latest star.
Jonjo Shelvey has revealed it was advice from Ferguson that inspired his man-of-the-match debut against Bristol City last week.
Shelvey said: “Barry told me, ‘Just calm down and keep it simple’, and it was good to have someone of his experience telling me that because it helps you.
“I was probably trying a bit too hard in the first ten minutes, but then I found my way into the game and it showed.”
Keith Southern has seen a number of big characters walk through the door at Bloomfield Road in his ten years at the club, but only one has had the influence of the current captain.
The midfielder said: “As an influence in the dressing room, I’ve probably only played with one player similar to him and that was Michael Jackson,” he revealed.
“He was a real leader and Barry falls right into that category.
“Barry is a top, top player, who has captained his country and was captain of Rangers for years. He’s a superb pro.”
The former Rangers man revealed last week that he would like to move into management when he finally hangs up his boots, and he is certainly showing signs of having all the right tools.
His midfield partner Southern hopes to get among the goals in the coming weeks.
The 30-year-old’s goal at Coventry recently was his first since the play-off semi-finals against Nottingham Forest in May 2010.
“It had been playing on my mind, I have to admit,” added Southern.
“I’ve had a few chances that I’ve missed, probably due to a lack of composure at times, but hopefully I can get into a run now.
“Saturday’s 5-0 win was coming. We ripped Portsmouth and Coventry apart at times, but couldn’t get the goals. We are in a good position after ten games. I think we’d have all taken this at the start of the season.”