Fergie: I’ll play through the pain

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson says he’ll play through the pain barrier for as long as it takes to secure Blackpool’s safety.

The stand-in boss picked himself at the heart of the midfield in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Leeds, the first time he’s played since taking over from Paul Ince in January.

A painful ankle injury means he can’t play without discomfort, but he’s determined to stand up and be counted between now and the end of the season.

“I’m going to put myself forward to play now as this is a fight we are in,” he said.

“I’m going to be there to play until we get those points on the board.

“Ideally I’d like to be on the sidelines but I need to do whatever is best for Blackpool.

“That’s the most important thing.

“It’s not about me, it’s about keeping Blackpool in this division.

“If that means going out there and helping the boys, then that’s what I’ll do.

“I will do whatever it takes, even if it means going through the pain barrier.

“That’s no problem for me.”

Ferguson revealed in Monday’s Gazette that he was talked into digging out his boots again by the coaching staff at Bloomfield Road.

But it wasn’t easy, he said: “I was tired, I’d only trained for two days before playing on Saturday.

“I’d not done anything for the best part of ten weeks.

“I had a chat with the staff and spoke to a few of the players and they wanted me to at least try.

“I can’t believe I got through 90 minutes, but I was happy to.

“Just need to see how I am in training this morning.

“I’ll have more training under my belt before Friday and I’ll be ready for it.

“If fit I’ll pick myself again.”

With two tough games coming up over Easter, the severity of Blackpool’s league position is clear.

They welcome rivals Burnley on Friday, who need a win to help secure promotion to the Premier League, before a long trip to Brighton on Monday.

But Ferguson isn’t ready to hide away from the situation.

He said: “I think it’s been serious here for a number of months.

“The players can be told by everyone, but they have to realise themselves what position they are in.

“Do they want to be playing in League One, or the Championship?

“Well it’s a simple answer from me, I want to be in the Championship.

“I expect the same from my players.”

Blackpool’s supporters are once again planning to protest about chairman Karl Oyston’s running of the club on Friday.

But the boss has asked his players to ignore what’s going on and concentrate on the job in hand.

“If I’m playing on the pitch I don’t take too much notice about what’s going on in the stands,” said Ferguson.

“You have to blank that out.

“On the pitch is what matters and that’s what we need to start concentrating on.”