Barnsley head coach Neill Collins admits his time playing under Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson was ‘not good for either of us’ – but has respect for the veteran manager he will face tonight at Oakwell from 7.45pm.
Collins dropped out of the Preston North End team in early 2010 after Ferguson took over as manager, with the defender soon moving on to Leeds. Ferguson has managed Peterborough in more than 500 games, promoting them four times.
Collins told the Chronicle: “That was not good, for either of us. I think Darren would admit that too. Both of us would admit that wasn’t our best time, those three or four months. But we have both learned from it. He since tried to sign me at Peterborough but it didn’t work out. I have a lot of respect for him and he’s been very successful. I am looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.”
The Posh made an excellent start to the season, winning 1-0 at newly-relegated Reading on opening day. They then won on penalties at home to League Two Swindon Town in the EFL Cup. They also won 1-0 at home to Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Barnsley won their first league game 7-0 at home to Port Vale but were poor in a 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Collins told the Chronicle: “Peterborough have a strong identity. They are an attacking team with really good wide players. They play good football, want to attack and score goals. They are quite similar to what we faced on Saturday.
“We were biting our fingernails at times because we got away with two or three really close calls. In the second half we let the game sweep us away and didn’t impact it. I think the players will learn lessons from that and put them to good use.”
He added: “The games come thick and fast. We knew this week would be difficult, starting with Bristol Rovers.
“Peterborough have had good stability and consistency and a manager who has been successful. It’s a good challenge for us.
“Based on the history of the club and the manager, they won’t be too far away this season. If you finish ahead of Peterborough, you will be in a good spot.
“Our players have shown enough in the first two matches that they can win games despite being short-handed."
Posh were successful at Barnsley on the final day of the last league season, winning 2-0 to leapfrog Derby County into the final play-off place.
They then won 4-0 over Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their play-off semi-final before losing by the same scoreline at Hillsborough, again losing a lead in extra-time and going out on penalties.
Goalkeeper Liam Roberts said: “It will be a tough game. They missed out the same us last year so they will be wanting to go one step further, the same as us.
“They play good football. They have pace down the wings. We just have to be ready for it and we are. We want a positive performance and the result will come off the back of it.
“We have had meetings about what we can do better from Saturday.”
The clubs have met 42 times, with Barnsley winning 17 and losing 19.