Halstead is ready for starter’s orders

Mark Halstead in action for Blackpool reserves last season.
Mark Halstead in action for Blackpool reserves last season.
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MARK Halstead is determined to use tonight’s cup-tie to show Ian Holloway what he could do ... and now he’s got an extra incentive.

The 21-year-old Blackpool keeper will face Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup – and he also has a chance of starting the Seasiders’ first home Championship clash against Peterborough on Sunday following Matt Gilks’ withdrawal from the Scotland squad with an ankle injury.

Gilks, who missed most of last season with a broken kneecap, has returned to Bloomfield Road for treatment but has already been labelled a doubt for the weekend.

Halstead, a former pupil at Collegiate High School, is now on red alert for the Posh game. He has started only once for the first team, in last season’s Carling Cup first-round defeat at MK Dons.

He has had loan spells at Barrow and Kettering, and enjoyed a memorable moment last season when he came on as a substitute against Chelsea at Bloomfield Road.

And he kept a clean sheet after replacing the injured Richard Kingson, who had conceded three.

Halstead became Pool’s second-choice keeper in the summer, following the departure of Paul Rachubka and Richard Kingson.