TONY Mowbray has revealed how he is using Gary Parkinson to help him sign players.
Parkinson was an integral part of Middlesbrough’s famous side of the 1980s which won back-to-back promotions.
He is also a former Seasider and was youth team coach at Bloomfield Road when he was struck down last year by a stroke which has left him unable to move or talk.
Mowbray revealed how he and senior figures of the coaching staff at Middlesbrough deliver DVDs of potential transfer targets to the rehabilitation unit in Bury where Parkinson is being treated.
Parkinson, 43, cannot talk because of his illness but has devised a ratings system with his wife Deborah.
When it comes to the DVDs, he has a sliding scale – four blinks means he really likes a player, one blink means he’s less than impressed.
Mowbray said: “We were determined to give Gary a role, so he could feel involved.
“Not only that, I genuinely value his opinions about the game. We let him have a look at some of the players who come to our attention and it gives Gary something to concentrate on. Several of us have been to see him and we will continue to support him every inch. Long after he ceases to be headline news, we will be there for him.”
Red ‘4Parky’ wristbands were sold to Middlesbrough fans before Saturday’s game. They were the idea of the coaching staff at Blackpool and have been adopted by Boro.
Pool have sold more than 1,000 tangerine wristbands so far. They are on sale from the club shop, priced £1.50.
As for the action on the pitch, Boro boss Mowbray was a frustrated man as his team twice failed to hold on to the lead against Ian Holloway’s Seasiders. Mowbray praised Blackpool, labelling them a good Championship team.
But he felt his side had the upper hand and pointed to some of the saves Matt Gilks made as an example of his team’s performance.
The stats back Mowbray up, Boro having more shots and more corners. However, they only had marginally more possession – 51 per cent compared to the Seasiders 49.
Scott McDonald twice put Boro ahead to take his tally to three goals in two games after an 11-game drought, but Blackpool clawed back each time.
Mowbray said. “Yes, it is frustrating that we didn’t win the game. We played very well. We created a lot of very good opportunities. We hit the post and their keeper made some very good saves.
“The result is frustrating but not the way we played.
“There were times last year when we were leaking late goals and we had played poorly, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
“Blackpool are a good team with good players. They were in the Premier League and you could see the quality in the way they moved the ball.
“It shows where we are now as a team that we are frustrated at not getting all three points from a team like that.”