Blackpool begin manager search

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson
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Blackpool begin their search for a new manager today and The Gazette understands that chairman Karl Oyston wants to make a quick appointment.

Like most of the first-team squad, stand-in boss Barry Ferguson is now out of contract and a huge question mark hangs over his future as a player or manager at Bloomfield Road.

Ferguson, who has been in charge since the sacking of Paul Ince in late January, says he is yet to hold any discussions with Oyston.

But speaking after Pool’s season ended on another disappointing note with Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by Charlton, the Scot sounded as though his future may well lie elsewhere.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m getting an operation soon on my ankle and I don’t know whether I am going to play on. It probably won’t be at Blackpool if I do but I’ll make that decision mid-June.

“There are no meetings planned with the chairman. We just wanted to get to the end of the season and keep Blackpool in the Championship. Now we’ve done that.

“Whoever comes in and takes the job, it’s a really good club. There are a lot of good things about it and a few bad things. If you can get them sorted, then you’ve got every chance.

“There are only four contracted players, so whoever gets the job has the chance to come in and build their own squad and their own team.

“That’s something I, as a young manager, would love to do and most managers in Britain would love to do.”

Ferguson’s 20-game baptism of fire in management (three wins, 12 defeats) hasn’t discouraged him. He added: “I want to be a manager. I’ve decided that, whether it’s here or wherever it might be.

“It’s not scared me – I’ve loved it. I’m just thankful for Blackpool giving me the chance.”

Saturday’s defeat left Pool relying on other results to keep them in the Championship. They could only have dropped into the relegation zone had their three relegation rivals all won, and only one (Millwall) did.

There was late drama elsewhere as Birmingham’s stoppage-time equaliser at Bolton relegated Doncaster, who lost at Leicester.

Pool finished two points and two places above the drop zone and Ferguson said: “It’s mission accomplished. My remit was to keep us up and we got there in the end. It’s not the way I wanted to finish, but we did it and that’s all that matters.”

As for the game, Ferguson added: “It was a strange day because we should all have been so happy at keeping the club in the Championship.

“I wanted the boys to go out on a high and that’s the disappointing thing. We had so many chances.

“We dominated the first half and played really well. I was worried that the longer it went on nerves would creep in, and they did.

“I don’t know what was wrong but that wasn’t us in the second half. Our away form has been good but at home there have been nerves. Once we went a goal down, the atmosphere changed a bit and affected the players.”