ZF2 and composer


I am maintaining an application based php 5.1.6 and ZF 2.10 (on the production machine)- that application is written around 2008.
There are others dependencies (such as qcode - on github ), not feeling comfortable to upgrade neither php nor ZF before I understand how the application works.

To be able to replicate the ‘production environment’ I am trying to install the Zend Framework 2 ( Manual - Documentation - Zend Framework ) - I followed the installation procedure , installing composer, though I do not see composer on the production machine). After installing composer I start up the ‘Skeleton Application’ running the below command:
php composer.phar create-project --stability="dev" zendframework/skeleton-application path/to/install

I get the following:
Your requirements could not be resolved to an installable set of packages.
Problem 1
- Root composer.json requires zendframework/zend-skeleton-installer ^0.1.7 || ^1.0 → satisfiable by zendframework/zend-skeleton-installer[0.1.7].
- zendframework/zend-skeleton-installer 0.1.7 requires composer-plugin-api ^1.0 → found composer-plugin-api[2.0.0] but it does not match the constraint.
Problem 2
- zendframework/zend-component-installer[1.0.0, …, 1.1.1] require composer-plugin-api ^1.0 → found composer-plugin-api[2.0.0] but it does not match the constraint.
- zendframework/zend-component-installer[2.1.0, …, 2.1.2] require php ^7.1 → your php version (5.6.40) does not satisfy that requirement.
- Root composer.json requires zendframework/zend-component-installer ^1.0 || ^2.1 → satisfiable by zendframework/zend-component-installer[1.0.0, 1.1.0, 1.1.1, 2.1.0, 2.1.1, 2.1.2].

You are using Composer 2, which some of your plugins seem to be incompatible with. Make sure you update your plugins or report a plugin-issue to ask them to support Composer 2.
Am I not able to use Composer 2 here, do I have to fetch an earlier version ? Or can I ‘update my plugins’ in some way before going forth ?

Or would it be easier to find a docker-image with php and zend ?

best, i