LEE CLARK has dismissed the Ferguson factor as he prepares for the biggest match of his managerial career.
Town’s ambitious boss faced the full force of the national media as he continued preparations for tomorrow’s big match against Peterborough.
The talk was all about whether Posh chief Darren Ferguson’s could gain any advantage through his relationship with dad Sir Alex, particularly with Manchester United hosting the play-off final.
But Clark was quick to point out that he too has benefited from the advice of the Old Trafford chief, and a host of other managers.
"You tend to find we look after each other in this business," said the 38-year-old, who is chasing elevation to the Championship in his second full season at the Galpharm helm.
"Whenever I meet or talk to other managers, I try to pick their brains a little, and Sir Alex has always been more than helpful to me.
"Of course Darren is in the position of being able to pick up the phone and get hold of the bloke who is the best in the business at any time, but he’s very much his own man.
"And don’t forget, Sir Alex has got the small matter of a Champions League final to prepare for, and neither him nor Darren, or me for that matter, can actually go out there and play.
"Our job is to prepare our teams as best we possibly can, and that’s what we’ve both been trying to do.
"Peterborough are a good side – we know what they’re all about – and I have respect for Darren, who is a guy I know and like.
"But I’m desperate to get the better of him tomorrow, because I desperately want to be managing in the Championship next season."
Both Town and Posh, who finished third and fourth in League I respectively, can boast impressive records ahead of the showdown.
Clark’s men are unbeaten in 27 league games, easily a club record in a single season, while Posh have plundered 128 goals in 56 games in all competitions.
They have been prevented from scoring in only four of those matches (at Tranmere, away to Hartlepool, at home to Brighton and at MK Dons, all in the league).
But they’ve also conceded 95, and Town will be going all out to add to that tally in what looks likely to be an action-packed game.
Clark, whose side have won, drawn and lost against Posh in their three meetings so far this season, continued: "We’re all looking forward to it.
"It’s the highest finishing sides playing each other, which doesn’t always happen in the play-offs, and there’s a huge prize at the end of it.
"You can sense that every player in the group is desperate to be involved, and that’s no surprise because it’s a huge game at one of the best venues around.
"Sure, there will be a few nerves come the day of the game, but you need to have that, and my players have shown they can perform on the big stage.
"We went to Arsenal in the FA Cup and they embraced the occasion and produced one of their best performances of the season. I think the venue lifted and inspired them.
"They’ve also shown physical and mental strength over the season, and that’s crucial, because it’s not just about talent and ability.
"We have a good blend in the squad, with experienced lads who have shown their worth and younger players who have grasped the situation.
"We also have fantastic fans who are heading to Old Trafford in huge numbers and will make a huge amount of noise.
"They’ve been brilliant all season, they know what’s at stake and they will back us from the first minute to the last.
"Of course we know it’s going to be tough, but we also know we have the ability to do it."