Family ties heap pressure on new Preston manager

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Darren Ferguson has admitted there is additional pressure on him to succeed at Preston North End because of the achievements of his father, Sir Alex, at Manchester United.

The 37-year-old, who left Peterborough in November after guiding the club to successive promotions, was yesterday installed as Alan Irvine's successor on a three and a half year contract but conceded comparisons would always be made with his father, who has won 11 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cups since taking over at Old Trafford in 1986.

Ferguson said: "I'm very, very ambitious and with my name I cannot afford to fail. Pressure is there in any walk of life but you've got to try and be successful. If you win enough games you will be fine, if you don't then you will be under pressure. But Preston have generally given their managers a chance. History suggests that and that was a big part of me coming here. The club has a fantastic tradition, is very stable and has a good base of Championship players with a mix of experience and youth."

The famous Lancashire outfit have not been in the top flight since 1961 but Ferguson is determined to end that run. He will be forced to work on a limited budget but sees no reason why Preston cannot push hard for promotion this season after last season's play-off semi-final defeat. He added: "Hopefully we can go one better and get to the promised land [of the Premier League]. We are eight points off the play-offs with a game in hand and that bodes well."