Baptiste: We are in a relegation battle

Blackpool's Alex John-Baptiste
Blackpool's Alex John-Baptiste
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ALEX Baptiste has sent a warning to his Blackpool team mates -– we are in a relegation battle now.

The Seasiders have tumbled to 17th in the Championship table, just four points from the relegation zone.

Despite promising signs, Pool have won only one game under new manager Paul Ince and Good Friday’s trip to Blackburn could now be the most important game of the season.

Skipper Baptiste said: “It’s a relegation battle we are in now.

“We had a look at the table after the game and there are eleven teams involved down there.

“It’s all to play for down there in the next eight games.

“I have full confidence in the team that we can get out of it.”

After picking up a superb 2-1 win against Watford, Pool fell to a shock defeat at home to strugglers Peterborough on Saturday.

And Baptiste admits it left everyone feeling a little sorry for themselves.

He said: “We all felt a bit down after the game on Saturday, it was three points dropped. They only had one shot on target in the first half and they scored.

“So it was really disappointing.

“The first goal is always massive, and it was on Saturday.

“We’ll go again this week, have a good week’s training.

“We have a massive two games coming up, the positive it we are only three points off eleventh.”

Blackpool have no game this weekend due to England’s participation in World Cup qualifiers.

They are back in action a week tomorrow when they travel to face now managerless Blackburn.

Former Pool boss Michael Appleton was sacked at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

While most teams look forward to playing at home, Baptiste says he’d be happy to play every game away.

“If we could play all our games away from home, we’d take it all day long,” he said.

“It’s so hard when the pitch is like that, even growing up and playing on a Sunday morning.

“We probably need a little bit more quality.

“We can try our hardest, but when the ball is bouncing around your knees then it’s really hard.”

Much has been made about Pool’s lack of goals in recent weeks, and their failure to score first in games this season.

Something Baptiste can’t put his finger on.

“We just don’t seem to be able to get that goal,” he said

“On Saturday we started well and should have scored in the first 20 minutes or so.

“But as the pitch deteriorates, the game becomes a lottery.

“We had a few chances, but credit to them they got a goal and managed to hold on.

“We need to get that first goal, and start adding more goals to our game.”

* TOM Ince will miss the England’s Under-21 friendlies against Romania and Austria due to injury.

The young forward picked up a thigh strain in Saturday’s defeat against Peterborough.

England boss Stuart Pearce said: “Tom picked up an injury at the weekend and he wasn’t going to be ready for the first game.”

The injury is believed to be minor and Ince should not be in doubt for Pool’s game against Blackburn next week.