The days of spending big and importing ready-made talent seem to be long gone - and if that leaves a few complaining about lack of ambition, Ferguson is only too happy to applaud manager Alan Pardew's progressive approach.
"It is a different club from a few years back, that is true," fullback Ferguson told the Sunday Sun.
"The manager has made a big difference. He's been fantastic for us younger lads.
"He's not afraid to give us a chance and it gives us all so much confidence to know there's an opportunity for us there.
"At Stoke last year he gave me a chance when it would have been easy to go for someone more experienced - he did the same in an important game at Nottingham Forest too. It's a good thing for the football club."