GARY Taylor-Fletcher is sick to death of hearing how Blackpool are over-achieving.
He feels they should get a little more respect.
Taylor-Fletcher’s view is that all the praise, however nice to read, is patronising.
The bottom line, he argues, is that Blackpool have a fine team which deserves all the success which has come its way over the last three years.
The striker said: “We’ve always had one of the lowest budgets but the spirit of the lads is superb, and what people don’t realise is how good a team we have.
“We seem to go into every season with people writing us off and saying, ‘Oh, little Blackpool won’t do anything this year. They can’t do it again’.
“Yet we keep doing it and you sometimes wonder when you are going to get the proper respect this group of players deserve.
“People wrote us off in the play-off final two years ago. In fact, at the start of that season we were favourites for relegation.
“It’s been the same this time around really. We have never been truly talked about in terms of promotion. The focus has always been on Leicester or West Ham because they are the so-called glamour clubs with the biggest budgets.
“It is almost like we’re not good enough, but overall we’ve got a better squad than we had when we went up to the Premier League.”
That year in the top flight was a dream come true for the likes of Taylor-Fletcher, who had spent the previous decade and more working his way up from non-league.
He shone in the Premier League, scoring against Manchester United, City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
But he, like the rest of those in the Seasiders dressing room, remains bitter at the way they exited the top division.
He added: “It’s where you want to play. You want to play at the big stadiums and on the big stages, and we all feel we did really well in the Premier League.
“If you look at the points totals from the relegated clubs this season, it is annoying because the 39 points we got last year would have seen us finish 16th this time around. “So we feel as if we’ve got unfinished business in the Premier League, but we’re not looking that far ahead.
“We’ve got a massive game against West Ham and they are going to be massive favourites.
“Everybody will be saying they are a better team and it is up to us to try to prove them wrong.
“If we do, then great, and if not we will hold our hands up and say we weren’t the better team.
“But we’re going to give it a real go. We’ve always been there or thereabouts in the league all season.
“We had a few little periods when we didn’t play as well as we’d have liked, but we’ve hit form at the right time and we’ve ended the season strongly.
“I think it’s the spirit and the core with the old lads we have.
“The new ones come here and buy into our way of thinking and feeling, and it spreads through the squad.
“We might not have the best training facilities or the best pitch or be the best paid, but it’s Blackpool and the spirit and quality of the players we’ve got mean people love to play here.
“So bring on Wembley is what I say.
“I love playing at the place and the good omen is that I’ve scored there before, so hopefully I’ll get another goal on Saturday.”