IAN Evatt has told Blackpool fans “not to expect miracles straight away” when the new campaign kicks off at Hull on Friday.
The Seasiders favourite has also urged the supporters to give the club’s new signings time to prove their worth.
Centre-half Evatt acknowledges that the team hasn’t been in sparkling form in pre-season but he thinks they have been slowly improving.
With so many new players arriving at the club – nine and counting – the 29-year-old says it will take time for everything to come together.
Evatt said: “I think we’ve come through pre-season slowly but we have been getting better.
“When you have so many new faces and lose three of your best players, it is always difficult. You have to teach the new people the system, and there are a lot of them so it will take time.
“I wouldn’t be expecting miracles straight away, even though the core of the team from last season is still there.
“It is just important that the fans give the new boys time to settle in before they make judgments on them.
“Fingers crossed, by Christmas we’ll be up there where we deserve to be.”
Evatt says Pool’s task will be made even tougher by the quality of the Championship this season.
He added: “The clubs in this division are very strong. The strength in depth now is immense. There are no minnows really.
“There are one or two smaller clubs but no teams like Scunthorpe. Most of the teams have been in the Premier League and had parachute payments, so they have been able to build their squads.
“Then there is the expectation that will be a factor for us. First season the gaffer came, no-one expected us to do anything and we ended up getting promoted.
“Last year the pressure was off to a large extent because everyone thought we’d fail regardless. We proved them wrong in many ways.
“But this year everyone will expect Blackpool, with the way we play and how unlucky we were to go down, to be right up there.