Pool boss: Time to push for the play-offs

Dean Lyness has impressed in the absence of Sam Slocombe

Dean Lyness has impressed in the absence of Sam Slocombe

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Gary Bowyer has challenged his players to build a winning run that will put them right in the mix for the League Two play-offs.

The Seasiders have reinvigorated their season with successive wins against Morecambe and Plymouth Argyle but face another tough task against fellow promotion hopefuls Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.

While Pool’s win at Home Park secured back-to-back victories for the first time since December they have yet to win three games in a row – a stat Bowyer is hoping to put right in Buckinghamshire this weekend.

“That’s the challenge for this group,” he said.

“Throughout the season you see teams who put three, four and five wins on the trot and that’s the challenge for us now at this stage of the season.”

Saturday’s game pits 10th against 11th, with the two sides separated only by goal difference.

Both sides go into the game on the back of wins as well, although the Chairboys have only won one of their last eight games.

Bowyer added: “We’ve spoken all season about rebuilding, stability and getting a culture into the club and on Tuesday night, after the game, one of the most pleasing aspects was the reaction of the players in the dressing room.

“They were delighted with how they played, but the players were already looking ahead to Saturday and making demands of each other.

“The spirit in the dressing room has always been there. With the new players coming in it was about getting the right mentality and I think we have that now.”

Pool could be boosted by the return of Sam Slocombe from injury, which will give Bowyer a tricky decision to make after stand-in goalkeeper Dean Lyness impressed in his place.

The Pool boss said: “On Tuesday night the first shot on target was in the 88th minute so that’s credit to the defenders, although we defend right from the front. But I was delighted for Dean to get a clean sheet.

“All season we’ve had competition for places, that’s what I’ve wanted, and that’s no different in goal.

“Keeping clean sheets gives us a great opportunity because of the attacking threat we possess, as we’ve shown in recent weeks.”