Bowyer: Pool need to get up to speed

Gary Bowyer cannot wait for Blackpool's season-opening match at Bradford City
Gary Bowyer cannot wait for Blackpool's season-opening match at Bradford City
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Gary Bowyer expects it will take at least half a season to get his Blackpool side accustomed to life back in League One.

His charges, who clinched promotion from League Two via the play-offs last season, will start the new season against Bradford City at Valley Parade on Saturday, August 5.

It is a game Bowyer can’t wait to get his teeth stuck into, despite admitting it will be a real test of his players against a side beaten by Millwall in last season’s play-off final.

He said: “There will be what, 17,500 at Bradford? Technically speaking they nearly got in the Championship last season, which just shows you the quality of their team.

“It’s a fantastic game. It’s one where you’re really looking forward to it because there will be a hell of a crowd and what a great place to measure ourselves against them and learn.

“This season, the first half of it especially, is all going to be about learning in the division and seeing what’s out there and where we stand in comparison to the rest of the league.”

Pool’s fixture list looks a lot kinder than last years with the team having to travel significantly fewer miles.

But the Seasiders’ longest journey of the season to Plymouth Argyle – a 600-mile round trip in September – has been scheduled for a Tuesday night for the second season running.

“The Football League must have heard that we really enjoyed getting stuck on the M5 and the M6 on the way home,” Bowyer added.

“Hopefully those roadworks and repairs will be done by then but my money’s on no.”

Blackpool’s first public pre-season friendly gets underway at 3pm today, with Bowyer’s men taking on National League North side Southport.

The trip to Haig Avenue comes after their first friendly, a 1-0 defeat to Dundee United, was played behind closed doors in Scotland last week.