Smells like team spirit to Blackpool FC boss

Gary Bowyer has backed Jim McAlister to be one of the leaders at Blackpool this season
Gary Bowyer has backed Jim McAlister to be one of the leaders at Blackpool this season
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Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has hailed the togetherness of his new-look squad with the new season only eight days away.

Pool are back in action tomorrow when they meet Bury at Bloomfield Road, having been unbeaten in pre-season so far.

Back-to-back wins in Scotland have been followed by draws against Blackburn Rovers and Tranmere Rovers.

“The one thing I’ve been really impressed with – as well as the standard of play – is the team spirit they have created already,” Bowyer said of his players.

“The trip to Scotland has helped us massively; the new boys have come in, they’ve been part of what’s happened and they brought an air of positivity.

“Some have been League One players – and successful League One players; that mentality has spread through the camp and the spirit is developing very well.”

Among those new arrivals is Danny Pugh with the 33-year-old set to lead from the front this season.

The former Manchester United man joined at the start of the month after spending last season playing in League One with Bury.

Pugh, who also counts Leeds United, Preston North End, Stoke City and Coventry City among his former clubs is someone for whom the manager has high hopes both now and in the future.

The hope is that he, along with players including Jim McAlister and another new boy, keeper Sam Slocombe, will act as leaders on the pitch.

Slocombe knows League Two well, having won promotion from the division with both Scunthorpe United and Oxford United.

“Danny Pugh is an unbelievable signing and I can’t speak highly enough of him already,” Bowyer said.

“He’s a great example for the younger lads on and off the pitch.

“Straight away I spoke to him about becoming a leader and he’s helping the younger ones already.

“He’s doing his (coaching) badges but he wants to play as long as he can but, after that, he will be having a successful career as a coach and, possibly, a manager.

“Jim McAlister is another good talker and I’ve been impressed with how he is on and off the pitch.

“I’m delighted to get Sam in because he’s had good experience in this league.

“Having lost Doyley (Colin Doyle), we’ve been impressed with him and he’s trying to settle as quickly as he can.

“Again, he’s going to be a massive leader for us.”