Blackpool’s Bowyer hopes for Vassell boost

Kyle Vassell

Kyle Vassell

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Gary Bowyer says he will wait until the last minute to see whether Blackpool striker Kyle Vassell is fit enough to face Morecambe tomorrow.

It is the first meeting between the seaside towns in the League and boss Bowyer is without three other strikers.

One absentee is ex-Morecambe frontman Jack Redshaw, who is struggling with a recurrence of the shinsplints that hampered his first season after switching from the Shrimps last summer.

And although the injuries to Danny Philliskirk (ankle) and Jamille Matt (knee) do not appear as serious as first feared, Mark Cullen is still the only fully fit striker on Bowyer’s books.

The manager said: “The medical department have been working very hard on injuries. We were frantically phoning round, making sure players were fit and able, then exploring the opportunities to bring one or two in if they weren’t.

“We are going to see how Kyle goes in a little light training and see how he recovers. We will leave that as late as possible.

“Jamille has had a scan and we are waiting for a report back. I don’t think it is as bad as we feared the other night (when he had to be brought off early in the EFL Cup win over Bolton).

“Having spoken with him, he feels it has got easier in the last 24 hours. Touch wood he is not out for too long.

“Philliskirk’s second scan has been positive. He’s only going to be (out for) a couple of weeks. It’s positive news for him, so we are looking forward to him coming back.

“Jack has had a recurrence of what happened last year. Sadly, at the moment he is not going to be available for us.

“Hopefully this time we have got to the bottom of it. We are not going to rush him. We’ll make sure he gets back ready to perform for us on a consistent basis and injury-free.”

But Bowyer was buoyed by the response of his players to the lack of recognised strikers as Brad Potts was pushed up and Henry Cameron was used as a frontman late in the Bolton game.

Tom Aldred and captain Danny Pugh are set to return after being rested in midweek.

Bowyer said: “You saw the spirit of the players on Tuesday. It was the first time Brad has played up there and I thought he was tremendous.

“That was Cullen’s first game and he ran his socks off. It was a massive contribution, so whoever we play up there on Saturday I have no problems with because I know they will fight for the shirt and give everything they have. They proved that against Bolton.”

That win earned Pool a second-round visit to Premier League Crystal Palace and Bowyer said: “I’m all about testing yourself against the best and Alan Pardew is a fabulous manager . It will be a great night for us.”