Duncan Ferguson says he’s not ‘afraid of a challenge’ after taking his first managerial job at Forest Green Rovers.
They are currently bottom of the table and winless in eight matches.
“It doesn’t matter to me what level I work at. I’m not afraid of a challenge, I’ve never been afraid of a challenge in my life,” Ferguson, 51, told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
“That’s one of the reasons I came here because I wanted to improve the team. I know we’re in a tough position at the moment but I think we can move up the ladder.”
Ferguson left Everton’s backroom staff last summer after eight years and two brief stints as caretaker manager at the Premier League club, aiming to find a managerial position himself.
He traveled to Gloucestershire to meet Forest Green owner and chairman Dale Vince on Wednesday – immediately after the departure of Ian Burchnall – and said he made the decision to take the job after a short conversation.
He is due to take his first training session on Friday before Forest Green’s next game at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
“I drove up from Liverpool and after talking to him (Vince) he was so passionate about the club. I knew quite a bit about the club and thought ‘yes, that would be a good start for me’ “, Ferguson said. .
“We only spoke for 15 or 20 minutes and I really made up my mind. I went back up to Liverpool and back down this morning. It happened very quickly.”
Ferguson scored 73 goals in 273 appearances for Everton during his career and honed his coaching experience there.
His status as a club legend has led some to ask him to hand him the now vacant managerial post, following Frank Lampard’s dismissal on Monday.
“It’s never really happened to me,” Ferguson said of Everton, “so it’s time for me to go out and get some experience.”
“Why not try veganism”
Forest Green could be in the midst of a relegation battle for league survival, but Ferguson said the main driving force behind accepting the offer was a desire to work for Vince.
“I met the owner, he was very passionate about the football club and that’s what I loved, that’s why I came,” added Ferguson.
“He put so much effort and time into the area. He was talking about the new stadium, the new training ground, all these things come to life.
“They have a bit of a budget there, we can bring in players, so I thought ‘yes’. I know we’re in a tough position, he sold it to me and, to be honest, that never took long.”
Ferguson is by far the most high-profile name in football that Forest Green – who only gained promotion to the English Football League in 2017 – has been associated with his club.
Vince said he was confident that with Rovers four points from safety and 18 games to go, they can secure their status in the division, having only won promotion last season.
“We get on really well, I like him a lot, he’s outspoken, I’m outspoken,” Vince told BBC Points West.
“We’ll bounce back, I’m sure. It will galvanize the whole club. We’ve got the talent on the pitch, we need some leadership to get them to do the job and I’m confident, actually .There are only a few dots in it, [and] lots of games to play.”
Ferguson has signed a five-year contract with Forest Green and said he would ‘give everything’ he has to the club.
He is considering moving from his Liverpool home to Gloucestershire, and with Forest Green proudly declaring an all-vegan football club, he has also said he is open to trying veganism – after eating a vegan burger with his new chairman during the media photo call. .
“I’m not vegan, but why not, why not try a vegan burger. I can’t wait for it,” Ferguson added.