Barry Ferguson has challenged his players to prove the doubters wrong.
Blackpool’s players were sent a highly critical letter by the club’s Supporters Association on Thursday, which was read out to the team by Gary MacKenzie. A number of the squad spoke out amid claims they don’t care and have no pride in the shirt.
And Ferguson hopes the squad show how committed they are during today’s trip to Leeds United (kick-off 3:07pm)
“We have to respond,” said the boss. “The fans have got a right to voice their concerns, but it’s down to the individuals to say you know what, I’ll prove you wrong.
“I want the players to prove they want this club to stay in the division and prove they are good enough to stay at the club. If it was me, I’d want to prove to people that I do care and they were wrong to doubt me. There’s got to be a desire, it’s as simple as that, they have to now show something on the pitch. They have the perfect way to do it against Leeds tomorrow.
“There’s nothing more I can say, they have to show what they want.”
Blackpool’s players are low on confidence after two home defeats and another strange week at Bloomfield Road.
And the stand-in boss is considering giving the squad the ultimate boost - by playing himself. Ferguson hasn’t taken to the field since Paul Ince’s final game in charge against Barnsley In January.
But he took part in training yesterday and hopes his injured ankle is strong enough to at least play some part today.
He explained: “I had a go yesterday morning and I felt OK, but it all depends how it is today. I’m trying everything in my power to get this club to stay in the division.
“If that means getting a bit of experience out on the pitch, then I’ll try and do it.
“But if I can’t, I still believe I’ve got players who are capable of doing my job.”
This afternoon’s opponents Leeds are hardly in golden form themselves, having lost five league games on the bounce. But Ferguson isn’t taking much notice of their form.
“Leeds are going through a troubled time, but they have more points on the board than us,” he said.
“I’ve been to Elland Road before, it’s going to be a difficult game. The fans are passionate there and they have a lot of good players as well.
“We need to go there with a game plan to try and come away with something.
“I’ve still to fully decide on the 11 I’m going with, but I know how we need to approach the game. I’ve chopped and changed since I’ve been in charge more than I’d like to.
“I believe we need a settled eight or nine players but I’ve not been able to do that yet, it’s been frustrating.”