Argyle will be one hell of a task - Pool boss

Adams - promotion bid
Adams - promotion bid

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer is under no illusion about the size of the task facing his side against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

He has huge respect for Argyle after they reached the League Two play-off decider last season and admitted: “The fact that they got that far tells us it is going to be a hell of a test for us and one that we will have to stand up to.

“I will also learn more about where we are and how far we have come.

“Derek Adams (Plymouth manager) has got a philosophy of how he wants the game to be played.

“I know him from his time at Ross County and what he achieved there and obviously with last season getting Plymouth to the play-off final, so we know it is a challenge.

“But it is about what we do and how we go about it.

“Plymouth are certainly going to be one of the teams that will be up there - at the end of the game I will know how far and how close we are to being more of a team and being a strong team in this division.”

Adams has cleared the decks - and how! - since his side suffered the bitter disappointment of defeat in the League Two play-off final at Wembley at the hands of AFC Wimbledon last season.

There has been a massive turnover of players since then as Adams takes an entirely different tack in formulating a new promotion battle-plan, sweeping the old one aside.

Despite such upheaval, they should be among the play-off contenders and automatic promotion is not out of the question.

Tomorrow’s combatants at Bloomfield Road may be at opposite ends of the country, but there are past links.

Perhaps the best known player in that category is former Blackpool and England goalkeeper Tony Waiters.

He played over 250 games for Blackpool before moving to Burnley and then taking on his first managerial assignment at Plymouth, where he was boss from 1972-77 prior to a move to North America where he still works.

Striker Bill Rafferty was popular with both clubs.

The Scot played for Blackpool between 1972 and 1974 (nine goals in 36 games) before a move to Home Park, where he had much more success and scored 35 goals in 90 games.

Midfielder Russell Coughlin played for both clubs in a long career - he died recently after a car accident in Cumbria.

David Gooodwillie played on loan for Blackpool and is one of the Argyle newcomers having joined the club this summer from Aberdeen.

Plymouth

Manager: Derek Adams

Position last season: 5th

Nickname: Pilgrims

Ground: Home Park

Capacity: 17,874

Players in: Ryan Donaldson (Cambridge, free), Yann Songo’o (Blackburn, free), Connor Smith (AFC Wimbledon, undisclosed), Gary Miller (Partick, free), Karleigh Osborne (Bristol City, free), Jordan Slew (Chesterfield, free), James Spencer (Cambridge, free), David Goodwillie (Aberdeen, free), Nauris Bulvitis (unattached), Oscar Threlkeld (Bolton, free), Sonny Bradley (Crawley, free), David Ijaha (Whitehawk, free)

Players out: Peter Hartley (Bristol Rovers, free), James Bittner (Newport, free), Gregg Wylde (Millwall, free), Curtis Nelson (Oxford, compensation), Kelvin Mellor (Blackpool, free), Carl McHugh (Motherwell, free)

Key man: Graham Carey