Keith glad to be back in triumphant threesome

Blackpool's Keith Southern and Newcastle United's Cheik Ismael Tiote
Blackpool's Keith Southern and Newcastle United's Cheik Ismael Tiote
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KEITH Southern reckons the midfield which secured promotion from the Championship can propel the Seasiders to Premier League survival.

The trio of Southern, Charlie Adam and David Vaughan played in almost every game last season.

But this term, because of injuries and the form of others, they have played together just twice.

So well did it work in the draw with Newcastle that boss Ian Holloway surely won’t change it for Saturday’s crucial visit of Stoke, whose 3-0 home win over Wolves last night keeps Pool a point clear of the drop zone.

And Southern, who has won back his place just at the right time, is delighted to be back among familiar faces.

He said: “We have been in a rut, let’s make no bones about it. We’ve not won for two months and against Newcastle I think the manager wanted to get back to what worked well for us – and I think we did that.

“It was nice to have the three of us back in midfield together. We know each other’s game and we help each other. I said all last season that we’ve got two left-footers and a right-footer, so you have natural balance.

“I think the gaffer wanted solidity in the middle. We’ve been too easy to play against of late, and when results don’t go as planned you go back to what you are used to.

“We were at it from the word go on Saturday. We all put ourselves about, and we could and maybe should have won the game.”

Holloway had previously favoured Elliot Grandin with Adam and Vaughan in midfield, with the Frenchman in the hole between midfield and attack. Having Southern in the team allows the manager to push Adam further forward.

And Southern hopes that the skipper, whose 10 goals this season include only two from open play, will get more opportunities in the final four games.