O’Dea warns Pool could face another drop

Darren O'Dea

Darren O'Dea

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Darren O’Dea fears Blackpool could face back-to-back relegations unless big changes are made at the club.

The defender has left Bloomfield Road, having not been offered a new deal by manager Lee Clark following talks last weekend.

The official retained list is yet to be released by the club, although The Gazette understands Clark has released almost all of his out-of-contract players. Tom Barkhuizen is the only player to have so far confirmed his departure.

O’Dea is worried about the club’s future. He said: “The manager was fantastic. I feel for him and I feel for the players who are going to be there, because if Blackpool don’t get their finger out they could potentially go down again.

“They were in the Premier League three years ago? Sometimes you wonder ...

“I think that if Clark gets his way, then Blackpool with be fine. But as manager there, I wouldn’t say getting your way is the easiest thing.

“There are some lovely people there but the club is poorly run and they are going to struggle.”

O’Dea made 19 appearances for the Seasiders, having signed initially on a one-month deal last December.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international needed time to build up his fitness but ended the season in decent form, despite Pool’s terrible run of results and relegation.

O’Dea had spent the previous season in Ukraine and he added: “From the outside, Blackpool obviously had a disastrous season. But for me, going there was about playing.

“I had a bad injury before I went there, and having been out of the country before that I think there was a bit of a question mark over me in people’s minds.

“I wanted to put that to bed, which I think I did by playing 20 games and never missing a day’s training.”

The Gazette understands several clubs have shown interest in the defender, with Bolton being touted as one potential destination.

And he’s hoping his experience at clubs like Celtic and Leeds will stand him in good stead.

“You’re at the mercy of other people but if you look at my CV, I’ve been around for long enough now,” he said, “so hopefully I’ll get something sorted quickly.

“I’ve played more that 250 club games, never below the Championship, and I was in the SPL with Celtic.

“I’ve 20 international caps, so I think it’s fair to say I could do a job for someone.

“But in the end it’s down to who needs a central defender and who fancies me for their team.”