Fergie: Get a grip on reality now

Tony McMahon is expected to return for Blackpool tonight
Tony McMahon is expected to return for Blackpool tonight
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Barry Ferguson says it’s time his players “got a grip and realised what’s at stake”, starting with tonight’s home clash with Millwall.

Blackpool go into the 8pm relegation battle desperate for a win which has eluded them for 18 games since November.

Ian Holloway’s Lions are four points behind the 19th-placed Seasiders after a superb 1-0 win at Derby.

And Ferguson says it’s time everyone had a reality check.

“We need to get a grip and realise where we are,” he said.

“Our luck ran out on Saturday and the teams below us aren’t far behind now (the gap between Pool and the drop zone is now six points).

“It’s a game we need to win. I know I say that every time I’m interviewed but I’m not going to stop saying it.”

Blackpool go into the game with Kevin Foley their only doubt after the right-back picked up a shoulder injury against Bournemouth.

He is likely to be replaced by Tony McMahon, who is available after suspension, though fellow full-back Jack Robinson remains banned and Andy Keogh is ineligible to face his parent club.

It means Ferguson will be forced into at least two changes, though he remained undecided last night. He added: “I haven’t picked my team like I normally do. I wanted to sleep on it and I will only name my team this evening.

“I have seven or eight players picked in my mind but I’ll have to make a decision on the rest.”

Pool’s third straight defeat on Saturday prompted criticism from many supporters and the stand-in boss fully understands their frustration.

Ferguson said: “I don’t need to tell them to stick with us because they always have. I heard a few moans on Saturday but the fans are entitled to that.

“They pay good money and we haven’t been winning games, so I’d expect that.

“They want to be able to come and watch a winning team, and they haven’t for a long time.

“I understand that and the players need to as well.”

Ferguson will go head-to-head with his former boss Holloway this evening.

It comes almost two years after the 36-year-old was sent on loan to Fleetwood after a supposed falling out with the then Pool manager.

But Ferguson insisted: “There’s no problem between us, nothing at all. I had a great time under him here. We nearly got back to the Premier League.

“He obviously did a fantastic job here. What an achievement that was, taking this club into the Premier League.”