Blackpool have Stoke mentality

Ricardo Fuller

Ricardo Fuller

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Ricardo Fuller says Blackpool have plenty in common with his former club Stoke City ... and that’s bad news for visiting teams.

Stoke had a tough reputation under former boss Tony Pulis and many clubs dreaded a visit to the Britannia Stadium, and Fuller sees strong similarities to Blackpool.

Ricardo Fuller in action for Stoke

Ricardo Fuller in action for Stoke

“This club compares so much to my time at Stoke City, it stands out,” revealed the striker, who played more than 200 times for the Potters, including fives seasons in the Premier League..

“We had the same sort of mentality. We are aggressive on the pitch and very united in the changing rooms.

“There’s a lot of banter and laughing in the dressing rooms, but we also put it on people when we need to.

“You look at someone like Barry Ferguson, who is playing cool and in control, but if you take the mick he will get on your case. There’s no messing about here.”

The widely experienced 33-year-old feels there’s a special atmosphere around the group of players Paul Ince has assembled at Bloomfield Road.

He added: “To be here and have a start like we have is brilliant. This club is about a team, it’s not about individuals.

“We have special players who can do special things, as Thomas Ince showed against Watford, but the teamwork and spirit is so important.

“It’s been fantastic. The boys have made me feel really welcome.

“In this league, if you can get the chemistry right and everyone united, then we can go all the way.”

Fuller has played as a lone striker on both his Pool appearances so far, the 1-0 wins over Reading and Watford.

It had meant long afternoons working hard and often chasing shadows in attack, something he’s more than willing to do for the team.

“It was difficult in the first half against Watford, with the ball always in the air and two defenders behind me,” he admitted.

“It’s difficult to get to the ball, but I just tried to make it hard for the defenders and do my best when I do get the ball.

“I’m a soldier and a lion. I’ll run as much as I can until I drop.

“I haven’t scored yet but I feel like I’ve done a good job for my team so far.”

While Pool’s regular starters enjoyed a three-day break at the start of the international break, Fuller was in training to improve his fitness.

Manager Paul Ince asked him to join new signings Michael Chopra and Bradley Orr in doing extra work to get up to speed.

“Myself and Chops weren’t quite fit enough,” he admitted. “The manager had us in over the international break when the rest of the squad were off.

“There was no break for me. It was work time as usual.

“I didn’t have a steady pre-season, so it was good to have two weeks of getting the work done and getting fit.”