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Ryan Ferguson: The Unorthodox Approach

For most, the battles stay on the pitch. For Ryan Ferguson, his battles are off it.
Started on 7 May 2017 by Justice
Latest Reply on 21 October 2017 by Aaron
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Ferguson: We've Made Great Progress

Ryan Ferguson Described SalPa's Progress This Season As Unbelievable


Ryan, superb season so far for SalPa. Can you sum up your feelings on what has happened to date?

Ryan Ferguson: "It has been nothing short of fantastic for us so far this year. I'm delighted with what we have achieved so far and it is a true testament to the hard work we have put in, on and off the pitch, to deliver the success we have done. We got to the latter stages of the Suomen Cup, against the odds, and now we're in a very strong position in the league. Great job so far, but we still have plenty of work to do."

Prior to your arrival, relegation was the expected result for SalPa this season. Now that you're here, and approaching the latter stages of the league season, relegation seems almost impossible now!

Ryan Ferguson: "Absolutely, and we are all delighted in the knowledge that we won't be moving down the leagues any time soon. It was always our minimum objective, but never what we targeted to achieve when we started the season. Every team starts on the same record, which we were well aware of, and it was important for us to take each game as it comes. You can only play one game at a time, so there's no point thinking about more than one."

It looks like SalPa will battle it out for second place, and a promotion play-off spot. How geared up is SalPa for the battle for this position?

Ryan Ferguson: "It is exciting to know that we are in with a great chance of achieving a promotion play-off position, it shows how far we have come in such a short space of time. However, as I have said before, we plan on taking each game on their own merit, and will not think about the league table until the end of the season."

Your players look to have settled to your football philosophies. Has it been a hard work in progress?

Ryan Ferguson: "The development of their tactical awareness has been absolutely unbelievable. We have made great progress on the training ground, and that has shown in our results. The players having a great understanding of what we try to achieve every time we step out on to the pitch and the execution has been outstanding."

You brought in no less than seventeen players to your squad. Are you happy with it now?

Ryan Ferguson: "We needed to bring that many players to fill out the squad for the season, although I do feel we're missing depth in certain areas. We were unable to bring in more than one natural striker, and we are a little stretched for natural cover in the wide areas. I'm happy with what we have, but we will look to strengthen whenever possible."

Comment Section

De Magere, yeah we had certainly proved our attacking play! We did sacrifice some of our defensive strength, but it is a case of finding a balance now!

Previous Update: #143 - Season 2031: July Review
Next Update: #145 - Season 2031: August Review
Promotion would be a huge feat but even if you narrowly miss out it will still have been a season of progress
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Season 2031: August Review

An Overview Of Salon Palloilijat In August 2031

Ryan Ferguson: We were pushing very high up the table and were almost certain to avoid relegation, with a number of games left to play. We had, in fact, put ourselves in to a fantastic position to challenge for a promotion play-off position (second place), and we were looking to capitalise on our good form.


SalPa Were Victorious In Each Of Their Five Ykkönen Fixtures

3-0 Win vs AC Kajaani (H) - 03/08/2031
Salon urheilupuisto | Attendance: 220
SalPa Goals: Kjell Skoog (26'), Arto Jääskelainen (71'), Erik Pettersson (81')
A very routine victory for us. We were a class above Kajaani, and the score line proved that. A Kjell Skoog piledriver gave us the lead in the first half, and Jääskelainen and Pettersson added to that in the second.
Kjell Skoog (SalPa) - 8.8/10

4-0 Win vs MP Mikkeli (H) - 10/08/2031
Salon urheilupuisto | Attendance: 364
SalPa Goals: Erik Pettersson x2 (16', 57'), Arto Jääskelainen x2 (38', 64')
Another game, another comprehensive victory. Erik Pettersson and Arto Jääskelainen both bagged impressive braces as we cruised to a dominant victory.
Erik Pettersson (SalPa) - 9.3/10

2-1 Win vs HIFK Fotboll (A) - 16/08/2031
Töölön jalkapallostadion | Attendance: 3,370
SalPa Goals: Niklas Ojanen (pen 45+2'), Kjell Skoog (69')
We were up against one of the big boys again, in a must-win game in the race for promotion. In a tense first half, it took a stoppage time penalty for us to score, through Niklas Ojanen. Kjell Skoog doubled our lead with just over twenty minutes to go. HIFK clawed one back to set up a nervous ending, but we pulled through to claim a priceless victory.
Kjell Skoog (SalPa) - 8.0/10

1-0 Win vs JJK Jyväskylä (A) - 24/08/2031
Harjun stadion | Attendance: 3,250
SalPa Goals: Serge Atakayi (pen 53')
This was set to be our toughest game of the season, against a team much fancied to win the league title. However, we held on very well with a strong defensive performance, and scored the all-important winning goal from a second half penalty.
Filippo Ferro (SalPa) - 7.6/10

3-0 Win vs Ekenäs Tammisaari (A) - 31/08/2031
Tammisaaren keskuskenttä | Attendance: 507
SalPa Goals: Olog Ekwall (og 20'), Kjell Skoog x2 (39', 59')
We were back to recording comprehensive victories at the end of the month, with a strong result at Ekenäs. An own goal gave us the lead early on, before a Kjell Skoog brace really underlined our superiority.
Kjell Skoog (SalPa) - 9.3/10


Salon Palloilijat's Leapfrogged JJK Jyväskylä In To First Place

WOW! Our victory over JJK seemed to upset them. It was their first defeat all season in the league, and they then went on to lose the next game. The dropped points on their behalf saw us climb one point above them, with just four games remaining.

September Fixtures

SalPa Would Play Three Ykkönen Fixtures In September

A two week break between fixtures meant a friendly match was in order, before three potentially title-deciding fixtures. We knew that each game would be extremely important, and only victories would secure the title.

Ryan Ferguson's Reaction

Ryan Ferguson:
"That was our best month of football yet. We secured three comprehensive victories, alongside two outstanding wins over the two biggest clubs in the division. It is a month which may have defined the outlook of our entire season, and certainly for the better. We now have to continue to build on that."

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, indeed it would be!

Previous Update: #144 - Ferguson: We've Made great Progress
Next Update: #146 - Ferguson: We Deserve To Be First
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Ferguson: We Deserve To Be First

Ryan Ferguson Credited His Players' Attitude As Reason For Title Charge


Ryan, your team has now come from nowhere to move to the top of the table,
with very few games remaining! How thrilled are you with this progress?

Ryan Ferguson: "I'm delighted with the progress we have made climbing the table. We have shown a steady improvement in our performances throughout the season and now we're in a position to be proud of. The players' attitude in training and in games has been nothing short of superb, and is probably the reason we're first. Technical and physical ability will only get you so far if you don't have the right mentality, and my players have shown the perfect attitude to fight for top spot. We deserve to be where we are."

Your side's victory over JJK Jyväskylä seemed to really turn the tide, with JJK going on to lose their next game and concede top spot to SalPa. How important was that victory over JJK?

Ryan Ferguson: "Obviously, one game does not decide a league campaign, but the outcome of a fixture can certainly change the momentum of a title race. It was a massive victory for us. It was JJK's first defeat of the league campaign, and they went on to lose the next game. I don't think that is a coincidence. Of course, I would expect JJK to return to their best in their next game and we will need to stay focused because the job is not yet done. We must focus on winning our matches."

Do you think you can win the title now that you are ahead?

Ryan Ferguson: "I think we are in a much better position to do so than we were one month ago, and even two months ago. We have a very important one point advantage over JJK this late in the season, but we have to stay focused. We have four big games and we must continue to play with the same mentality and ruthlessness. We'll take each game one at a time, just as we have done so far, and fight for every single ball."

Regardless of who wins the title, it does look like you have at least a promotion play-off spot secured. How big a boost is this for a club who has limited resources, such as SalPa does?

Ryan Ferguson: "It's fantastic. We know that we have certain limitations when it comes to funding improvements in our squad and infrastructure, so we have had to spend wisely. What we have spent has been spent well, and finishing this high up in the table will be a big boost for the club for the future."

Promotion to Veikkausliiga would certainly be a big boost for the club financially, would it not?

Ryan Ferguson: "Well I think there are two sides to that. Veikkausliiga football would mean more games in the season, which means more home games and more match day revenue. We would also be earning television revenue for the first time ever, as well as more marketing exposure across Finland. This all brings in a significant amount of money which will certainly help the club.

On the other hand, we would also probably have to spend considerably more on wages to bring in players who can help us to match our expectations. We would need to be as competitive as possible and so it would be foolish to think we wouldn't need reinforcements. We would need to spend more on wages.

Previous Update: #145 - Season 2031: August Review
Next Update: #147 - Season 2031: September Review
Too right you do!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Season 2031: September Review

An Overview Of Salon Palloilijat In September 2031

Ryan Ferguson: The previous month had seen us sneak in to a very unexpected first place, with just four games remaining in Ykkönen. At this stage of the season, every game was as important as the next.


SalPa Claimed Seven Points From A Possible Nine

0-0 Draw vs TPV Tampere (A) - 14/09/2031
Tammelan stadion | Attendance: 397
SalPa Goals: -/-
It was a very very very very dull game with nothing eventful happening. We defended well, but were impotent in attack (just like Arsenal were against Liverpool at the time of me writing this looooooool).
Joonas Niemi (TPV) - 7.6/10

2-1 Win vs Kemi Kings (H) - 21/09/2031
Salon urheilupuisto | Attendance: 251
SalPa Goals: Erik Pettersson (38'), Niklas Ojanen (pen 48')
We were back to winning ways in this fixture. An Erik Pettersson goal late in the first half set us on our way, and Niklas Ojanen's penalty goal early in the second half doubled our lead. Kemi Kings got one goal back, but we held on for the win.
Leônidas (Kemi Kings) - 7.6/10

3-0 Win vs FC Jazz (H) - 28/09/2031
Salon urheilupuisto | Attendance: 374
SalPa Goals: Niklas Ohanen (1'), Serge Atakayi (49'), Arto Jääskelainen (57')
We came straight out of the blocks with a stunning long range goal from Niklas Ohanen in the very first minute. Serge Atakayi and Arto Jääskelainen added to our lead early in the first half as we dominated the game.
Serge Atakayi (SalPa) - 8.8/10


Salon Palloilijat's Were One Win Away From Winning The Title

Despite dropping points, our lead had not changed at the top. JJK were just one point behind us with one game remaining. It was quite simple. If we won our last game, we were champions and would be automatically promoted. If we didn't win, JJK would have the opportunity to steal first place, and we would be competing in the promotion play-off.

October Fixtures

SalPa Would Play KTP In The Title-Deciding Fixture

In the game that would decide the league title, we would play against KTP away from home. JJK Jyväskylä had a difficult final game, against HIFK Fotboll. All we needed was one win to secure the title.

Ryan Ferguson's Reaction

Ryan Ferguson:
"We're almost there. I think it is almost impossible at this stage to not think about what happens if we win or lose our next game. We know the importance of the fixture, but we will try our best to treat it like we would with every other game."

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, the players have put in a real good shift this season!

Previous Update: #146 - Ferguson: We Deserve To Be First
Next Update: #148 - Ferguson: One Last Push Required
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Ferguson: One Last Push Required

Ryan Ferguson Spoke To The Press Ahead Of SalPa's Final Ykkönen Fixture


Ryan, you and SalPa are now just one game away from securing the Ykkönen title. How exciting is it?

Ryan Ferguson: "There are the moments that make football exciting. We know that if we can win this one final game, we walk away with the league title. It makes our final game possibly the most significant one of our season, even though it carries the same number of points as any other we have played in Ykkönen."

Kotkan Työväen Palloilijat (KTP) are your final opponents. Do you think your side (SalPa) are favourites?

Ryan Ferguson: "I think it would be foolish to consider ourselves as favourites in a game as important. The game starts at 0-0, with neither team winning, so we must consider KTP to be our equals. No matter who may be in a stronger position in the league table, the score is even at kick off. It is our job to change that before full time."

Are the players in your camp nervous ahead of this game? It is quite possibly the biggest game in many of their careers?

Ryan Ferguson: "No, they haven't been nervous at all. They've been excited, more than anything. We have shown great development since the start of the season, as a team, and we are all very confident about our ability to perform. We have come through some extremely tough challenges so far, and we look forward to competing in big games like this one."

Would winning the title make your first season as SalPa manager a perfect one?

Ryan Ferguson: "I think it would be foolish to say we would complete a perfect season by doing so. That would mean that everything which comes after dwindles in comparison! Of course, winning the title would make this season a dream, one which we could not have possibly imagined of before. But, the completion of this objective would open the doors to new ones, and we will have new and exciting challenges to face next season, no matter what happens against KTP."

Previous Update: #147 - Season 2031: September Review
Next Update: #149 - SalPa Crowned Ykkönen Champions

SalPa Crowned Ykkönen Champions

SalPa Secured The Ykkönen Title With Final Day Victory Over KTP


Ryan Ferguson ensured his first season in Finnish football ended with a bang as Salon Palloilijat (SalPa) got their hands on the Ykkönen league title following a final day victory over KTP. A solitary Arto Jääskelainen goal in the first minute of the second half ensure SalPa the victory away from home, securing promotion to the Veikksualiiga, the top flight of Finnish football. 1-0 Win vs KTP (A) - Ykkönen

Arto Jääskelainen Scored The All-Important Title Clinching Goal

SalPa were fortunate enough to have a full strength side for such a monumental fixture. Pasi Fräntilä lined up between the goal posts, as Eero Lyyski, Jukka Uusitalo, Filippo Ferro and Jere Haapala-Mannström made up a very reliable back four. Teenager Niklas Ojanen partnered on-loan duo Kjell Skoog and Erik Pettersson in midfield, while Serge Atakayi and Timo Huuhka started out wide. Arto Jääskelainen started up front.

The game was a very tense one with not much to note. The game was goalless heading in to half time, but it did not take long for a goal to be scored in the second half. Timo Huuhka's cross in the first minute of the second period was majestically powered in to the goal by Arto Jääskelainen, and KTP held out to win the game, and secure the league title. Eero Lyyski (SalPa) - 7.4/10

Previous Update: #148 - Ferguson: One Last Push Required
Next Update: Coming Soon....
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