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Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

Cooper confirmed as Posh manager


Posh a big challenge, says Cooper

Peterborough have confirmed Kettering boss Mark Cooper as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 40-year-old succeeds Darren Ferguson, son of Manchester United boss Sir Alex, who left London Road by mutual consent on Tuesday.

Cooper took charge of Kettering for the last time on Saturday, leading them to a 2-0 win at Cambridge.

He will be joined at Posh by his assistant at Kettering, former Barnsley and Wigan full-back Nicky Eaden.

Cooper takes over at Peterborough with the side bottom of the Championship after being led to back-to-back promotions by 37-year-old Ferguson.

But he admits he cannot wait to get his teeth into the challenge ahead.

"I'm sad to leave Kettering and it would have been nice to finish what we started, but this is a fantastic opportunity," Cooper told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"If I didn't take it people would think I was crazy.

"Peterborough have got some fantastic players who have done tremendously well over the past two years and I'm not going to pick faults in the previous manager and players because they have done brilliant.

"I'm just going to go in and try and lift them a bit and try and get some results as quickly as possible.

"It's a big task but one I'm looking forward to. I've been used to winning games for the past two and bit years and I want that to continue."

Although Cooper's only managerial experience has come at non-league level, Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists he has been left in no doubt he is the man for the job.

"I spent three days in Peterborough staying in a hotel and I saw six people," MacAnthony said.

"Some were previous international managers and ex-England internationals, foreign managers and managers with experience.

"But there was one who stood out and who wanted it the most, and that was Mark Cooper.

"He impressed me like you wouldn't believe.

"He and Nicky Eaden did their homework and reviewed 16 tapes of our games overnight.

"They watched footage of our team and knew about our squad. They wanted to know about our club A to Z, about the youth set-up, the new stadium and how they could help."

MacAnthony and director of football Barry Fry watched Kettering's victory at Cambridge, which ended with Cooper getting a standing ovation from the travelling supporters.

That brought the curtain down on a successful two and a half years at Rockingham Road in which he led the Poppies to the Blue Square North title and followed that up by guiding them into the fourth round of the FA Cup last season.

They are currently third in the Blue Square Premier and with an FA Cup second round tie against Leeds United looming.

MacAnthony was impressed with Kettering's display at the Abbey Stadium and believes Cooper will bring some much-needed organisation to Posh.

"What's impressed me the most is the organisation. You can see what he will bring from the way Kettering played," said MacAnthony.

"The players knew he was leaving and yet you could see the performance they gave and their commitment.


"People say he has got no experience but Darren Ferguson hadn't managed in his life before he came here and look at the job he did.

"I think Mark Cooper will do a terrific job for our football club.

"He could only work with what he had got at Kettering but the players fought for him and they were organised, whereas we are probably lacking a bit of organisation.

"In the Championship you need to battle and grind out results and the players will have to work hard for their places.

"But he has said he gives everyone a clean slate, so now the players have got to go out there and impress him and win games.

"And if they don't and he needs to go out and bring in players then I will back him."

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