Never go back. Such sound advice if taken as you can’t fail if you don’t take the risk.
The braver, if not always the happiest, thing is to grasp the nettle and give it ago.
Posh fans are delighted Darren Ferguson ignored the negative route and returned to Peterborough United, where he had once fallen out so badly with chairman Darragh MacAnthony. He quit London Road in November 2009 and watched from afar as a relatively unknown, and totally inexperienced Mark Cooper took the entertaining, if erratic, side towards relegation and then as the experienced Jim Gannon was unable to halt the slide back down to League One.

The honourable and talented Gary Johnson took over but his stylish playing approach didn’t always get the desired results and after disagreements with those upstairs he too departed leaving the way open for a Ferguson return.

Okay, so Ferguson was out of work after being dumped by Preston, who were worried he was going to take the Lilywhites down, and offers of work were not exactly flooding in until Barry Fry picked up the phone once more but he still accepted the challenge.

Assurances were given, and no doubt needed for Ferguson who needed to be allowed to weave his magic and get United back to the Championship, which he duly did via the play-offs.

It can’t be easy for a manager to deal not only with a control freak chairman in MacAnthony the entrepreneurial Irishman who has pumped millions into the Cambridgeshire, but also such a garrulous character in Barry Fry who likes to be heard and seen, even while insisting he is not actually in charge anymore.

But the benefit of second time round is you know what you are getting into. Ferguson knows the characters of the club inside out, and is all the better equipped to deal with that, and indeed has most probably taken a good, hard look at himself and what he could or should have done differently.

By winning Posh’s third promotion under his stewardship he has cemented what was already a healthy, respectful and somewhat adoring relationship, with the Peterborough fans who make up for their relative lack of numbers with fervour, loyalty and realistic expectation.

More crucially, Ferguson knows from bitter experience what it takes to not only be contenders in the Championship, but to survive.

There have been no wild predictions of ‘a top six finish’ which marked promotion last time, just a year after going up from League Two.

No, this time the aspiration has to be to finish as high as possible, but in truth fourth bottom will do. The four years remaining on his contract shows that for Ferguson the goal is consolidation, followed by swift progress has to be the target – agreed by everyone from MacAnthony through to the London Road faithful.

Of course everyone will look at Norwich and hope for a repeat of that but realistically the squad is not as strong, or as deep as the Canaries were, and it is unlikely the budget for wages and fees matches what Paul Lambert was able to use at key times during the campaign.

After losing top scorer and talismanic strike Craig Mackail-Smith to rivals Brighton, Ferguson must try to keep hold of George Boyd who has attracted interest from Ipswich and Celtic, while Gabby Zakuani has caught the eye.
Boyd and Zakuani, along with Grant McCann, Tommy Williams and Mark Little, will provide the foundation from which Peterborough must mould a squad capable of competing in arguably the most competitive of divisions. 
Five new signings have already been made but none have experience at this level. Nick Ajose is highly-touted but like Craig Alcock and keeper Paul Jones unproven against some formidable names dropping down from the top flight, or already settled in the better quality Championship clubs.Ferguson has secured the loan signings of Manchester United duo Ryan Tunnicliffe, a midfielder and Scott Wootton a centre half, and so what if his dad happens to be the boss at Old Trafford, in football, as in life, you use whatever contacts and leg ups you can get.By the time Posh meet Crystal Palace on the opening day Ferguson hopes to have a couple more signed. Chelsea’s Ben Gordon is on the desired list as cover for Grant Basey at full-back but there are complications, not least that he may be away with the England Under 20s until the end of August.
It is a similar situation with Derry’s James McLean with the title-challenging Irish side wanting to keep him until he end of their season in October, or at least transfer deadline day on August 31.
Dundalk’s Danny Kearns and Kane Ferdinand are also said to be on the most-wanted but deals are some way off as yet.

What may help is the renewed vigour and improved attitude of Lee Frecklington who has been taken off the transfer list.
It is another second chance for him too and, as with 39-year-old Ferguson, one that could also prove well worth given and taken.