Don’t rule out GTF as Ince seeks eight

Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Gary Taylor-Fletcher
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Two down, eight to go. That’s the message from Paul Ince as Blackpool continue their drawn-out squad rebuilding with two weeks to go until their season begins at Doncaster.

The club have made two signings this summer, Gary MacKenzie and Bobby Grant, but have had more than 25 triallists in training.

They are back in talks with Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who had looked almost certain to be heading out of the Bloomfield Road exit door.

The striker, who has spent the past six seasons at Pool, rejected Pool’s initial contract offer and has been training with Sheffield Wednesday. However, The Gazette understands the 32-year-old has held talks with Pool chairman Karl Oyston this week and could be back in tangerine this season, though a deal is far from agreed.

Ince told The Gazette of his delight at signing striker Grant but the manager was quick to point out that more additions are needed.

“It’s two in, we need another eight now,” he said. “When you see players come in it gives everyone a boost and that’s just one.

“So when they see me bring four or five in, it will make the current players realise they have to sort themselves out.

“Bobby is a young lad, he’s only 23. He can shoot and has a lovely left foot on him.

“He’s a little off Championship fitness but we will get him there.

“He scored 16 goals last season for Rochdale, so he knows where the net is. I’m pleased to get him.”

Former Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt won’t be joining Pool. He has left the club after a week’s training.

Ince decided against offering McCourt a deal and he has since linked up with League One side Peterborough.

Pool complete their pre-season friendly programme with three games in nine days.

They step up their preparations with a visit to League Two York City this afternoon, then head to Bury on Tuesday before welcoming Premier League Newcastle to Bloomfield Road a week tomorrow.

And the rise in quality of opposition pleases the boss. Ince said: “York will be a test for us. It’s a decent level of opposition, with a proper crowd and the first chance to really take a look at what we have.

“Sometimes when you play lesser sides it’s hard to get into it. But when you play League teams, you start to step it up a bit and that’s what I’m hoping for.”