WE take a look at Blackpool’s new signings.
Signed from: Hibernian
Former clubs: Sheffield Wednesday (loan), Middlesbrough (loan), Nottingham Forest (loan), Aston Villa
Contract: 1 year deal, 1 year option.
BLACKPOOL’S newest midfield enforcer says he’s loving life beside the seaside.
Isaiah Osbourne has already become a big favourite at Bloomfield Road after a number of eye-catching displays.
The 24-year-old’s form will come as no surprise to Ian Holloway who has chased Osbourne for years, before finally getting his man when he became available after a short spell in Scotland.
And after years of what could be described as underachievement, Osbourne feels he’s finally at the right place to make a name for himself.
“I think this is the biggest point in my career right now because I’ve had my ups and downs. It’s time to get back on track and show people what I’m about,” he said.
“Things didn’t go to plan at Villa and I’ve since had a spell in Scotland for a year that I didn’t really enjoy, to be honest.
“As soon as Martin O’Neill left and Gerard Houllier took over at Villa it just went downhill for me. It got to a stage where I knew that I needed to just go away and play, so that’s why I went to Scotland.
“I’d done a year-and-a-half in the reserves at Villa and nobody really wants to play reserve team football. I just needed to get away and get some games.”
Osbourne had options all over the country when his availability was made known in the summer.
But after much deliberation, and a conversation with Holloway, there was no doubt Blackpool was the right place for him.
“I knew that I wanted to come back because the style of football is completely different,” said Osbourne.
“The move was good for me to play football because it’s the first season where I’ve basically played the full amount of games. I’d say I’m stronger now as a player for experiencing that.
“I have unfinished business here. I just want to play as many games as I can, work as hard as I can for Blackpool and hopefully push on to get the team back in the Premier League.”
Despite being left out for the recent trip to Barnsley, he’s been a vital part of Pool’s early success.
It’s not the first time Holloway has signed the midfielder, although the boss left his job at Leicester just one day after doing a deal to bring Osbourne to the club.
But he has nothing but praise for his new boss.
“I always liked the character that he was, even from that one day I spent working with him,” he said. “He makes you feel like you can be yourself and just express yourself and play the way you want to play.
“He’s always positive with you and doesn’t jump on your back. Personally, I think that gives you more confidence.
“The manager has got so many options and I think he has eight midfielders to choose from, so that’s a headache for him.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard and do my best for the club when I play,” he added.
FOR A RUN-DOWN OF ALL BLACKPOOL’S NEW SIGNINGS, SEE FRIDAY’S GAZETTE