Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson has told his side to be at the top of their game against a Carlisle United side “with nothing to lose”.

Promotion-chasing Posh are massive favourites to see off the relegation-bound Blues on Good Friday.

But home boss Ferguson says Paul Simpson’s strugglers have been showing signs of improvement recently even if results have not picked up.

He says some of their attacking players must be respected despite the gulf in positions between the two sides.

"Carlisle’s results haven’t been good lately, but they have started playing better and they have started scoring goals,” said Ferguson, speaking in the Peterborough Telegraph.

“They scored two against Barnsley and two against Stevenage in recent games and the front two, Danny Butterworth and Luke Armstrong, are a handful.

"They will come to us with nothing to lose so we must make sure we are at it.”

News and Star: Peterborough, who drew 1-1 at United in October, are fourthPeterborough, who drew 1-1 at United in October, are fourth (Image: Ben Holmes)

While United are 15 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, fourth-placed Peterborough are seven points outside the top two while Ferguson’s men have a nine-point cushion over the chasing pack below the play-off places.

They have games in hand over some of their fellow promotion contenders while the visit of 24th-placed United will be regarded as an opportunity they cannot squander.

Ferguson will be without midfielder Hector Kyprianou, who is suspended after collecting ten bookings before the 37-game cut-off.

The Posh boss added that he expects more “twists and turns” in the race yet, adding that sides in the lower reaches of League One cannot be written off.

“League positions count for very little at this time of the season as Northampton showed against Derby last weekend,” added Ferguson.

"We still have to play a lot of teams with plenty to play for and that makes them dangerous.”

Ferguson’s side are League One’s top scorers after hitting 74 in their 38 games so far.

In their last five home meetings with the Cumbrians they have scored 14 goals.