BRETT Ormerod is confident he can help the Seasiders win promotion to the Premier League for the second time – but he warns it will be far tougher than two seasons ago.
The veteran striker, who agreed a new 12-month contract at Bloomfield Road on Friday, scored 11 Championship goals in 2009/10 to help propel Pool into the top flight for the first time in four decades.
And Ormerod believes he’s capable of playing a part in another glorious campaign, though he warns that Pool have now lost the element of surprise from two seasons ago, when everyone expected them to compete at the other end of the table.
But as Ormerod prepares for a seventh full season with Pool, he warned: “The Championship is a tough, tough league and a long hard season. There are some very, very good teams but we have good young players coming up.
“But I think no-one will underestimate us like they did a couple of seasons ago, so it will be even tougher but we are looking forward to it.”
Ormerod admits the task won’t be as tough if Pool can keep the nucleus of their squad together, though he is realistic about the situation. He added: “The more of the players we keep together the better but everyone has their own circumstances.
“It would be great to have as many stay on as possible because it’s a close-knit team, but the ones who leave will go with our best wishes because they have been fantastic. And we have good young players.”
Ormerod featured in around three quarters of Pool’s matches in that promotion campaign but had to make do with a dozen appearances last season. That doesn’t mean he will settle for being a bit-part player next term, even though he will turn 35 in October.
The Blackburn-born frontman’s next goal will be his 80th in his two stints at the club he rejoined from Preston in January 2009, and he aims to score it sooner rather than later.
“I know I’m getting on but I want to play my part,” he continued. “I’ll approach the season the same as I always do and I won’t set any targets, but if we can take last season’s form into the Championship I’m confident we will be there or thereabouts.”
The departure of Jason Euell, just four months Ormerod’s junior, has cemented the striker’s position as the club’s elder statesman. He added: “The gap between me and the second-oldest is now bigger, which is brill, but I’m young at heart and I’ll keep going!”