Chris Basham has urged his Blackpool team-mates to forget the recent poor form and put a smile back on their faces at Bolton this afternoon.
The Seasiders face Bolton at the Reebok this afternoon in an FA Cup tie steeped in history – a welcome break from the Championship, in which Pool have taken only one point from seven games.
And popular utility man Basham hopes the side can get back to winning ways in a match without pressure.
“It’s a free game for us really,” he said. “We have to forget the run of form we are in and try to win. It’s a big pitch and a good place to play.
“Bolton aren’t playing well themselves, so it could be a good time to go there. It will be good to get a smile back on our faces.”
Basham arrived at Bloomfield Road from Bolton in 2010 and always looks forward to revisiting the club which gave him his big break.
A graduate of the Trotters’ youth set-up, Basham made 19 appearances for Bolton after being handed his Premier League debut by Gary Megson, the former Pool manager, in 2008.
The 25-year-old said: “It’s a game I always look forward to. I have a lot of fond memories there and a lot of friends.
“I was taken off there after about 60 minutes last season, so I’ll be hoping to do better.
“I want to show how I’ve played this season for Blackpool. I don’t know what position I’ll be in but hopefully I’ll be involved.
“I got my break under Gary Megson, a manager I thought a lot of and still do. I have to thank him for everything he did for me.
“They have great fans and it was a really enjoyable stage of my career. I love going back.”
Today’s 3pm tie could see Basham pitched up against one of his best friends in football, Bolton midfielder Mark Davies.
The former Wolves man has battled back from a knee injury and is expected to be in the squad to face Pool.
“It will be great to go there and play against him,” added Basham. “I don’t know if he’ll be involved as they are trying to look after him, but it will be good to see him.”