Paul Ince believes Barry Ferguson’s influence can rub off on his Blackpool team-mates even though he is injured.
The skipper looks set to miss at least another three weeks following an ankle operation.
He’s spent most of his rehabilitation in his native Scotland but boss Ince has brought him back into the fold this week to boost the squad.
Ince revealed: “Barry’s back with us. As much as I’m frustrated and biting my nails about not being involved, so is he.
“I spoke to Barry when the injury happened and he was so down he could hardly speak.
“When you’re his age you want to be involved and you want to be playing.
“So we’ve got him down this week to be part of the set-up again.
“It’s great for the lads to see him because he’s such a big influence.
“He is more of an influence on the pitch, training and playing, than he is off it but he can still be a big influence on the lads.”
Even without their skipper, Pool stand fifth in the Championship table and have lost only one of their first 12 games, keeping six clean sheets.
Some have accused the manager of negative tactics but Ince puts it down to needs- must.
He explained: “If you watch Barcelona play, they play the same every week and don’t change.
“They play that way because it suits the players they have.
“We are playing the way that suits our players, so we aren’t going to change.
“Unless we get £5m from the chairman we aren’t going to change.
“To get to where we are has taken some doing, so why would we want to change?”
Ince will again be absent from Bloomfield Road for Saturday’s derby against Blackburn. It’s the second game of his five-match stadium ban for violent conduct towards a match official.
The FA has published a 30-page document explaining the punishment and Ince has come in for some criticism in the national media.
But that’s not something he’s too concerned about.
“It’s not about my image,” he said. “People can say and think what they want about me.
“The only thing that matters to me is how the players, the chairman and Blackpool’s fans think of me. That’s the bottom line.”