Southern on Blackpool’s golden era

Keith Southern
Keith Southern
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KEITH Southern believes the last five years have been “a golden period” in Blackpool FC’s history and says the fans have been spoiled.

The midfielder also reckons that if the club makes a sensational return to the Premier League, a statue of Ian Holloway should be built at Bloomfield Road.

Southern has won two promotions with Pool and spent a dream season in the top flight.

It wasn’t always like that, though – in his first few years at the club, Pool struggled to keep their head above water in League One.

But long-serving players like Ian Evatt, Alex Baptiste, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks, as well as Southern himself, have helped transform the Seasiders from also-rans into something of a force. And the midfielder reckons this will go down in the history books as a great time to be a tangerine.

Southern, who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday, said: “The last five years have been fantastic. I think we have spoiled everybody connected with the club with the way things have gone. It has been a golden generation really.

“First and foremost at any club you need that team spirit, that core of players who will run through a brick wall, and we have certainly had that over the last few years.

“It has been a fantastic period for us all. It has changed all our lives and everybody has peaked at the right time.

“We are in the final stages of another great season and the lads are fit and determined. We want to write another chapter.

“Hopefully we can get over the line and get back to where everyone wants to be.”

And if they do, Southern reckons the manager should be permanently honoured.

He added: “The job the manager has done in his three years at the club is incredible, absolutely incredible.

“If he gets us promoted, I am sure they will build a statue of him outside the ground to go alongside the one of Jimmy Armfield.

“He has been fantastic for us and I think we’ve done really well for him. It has been a great two-way street.

“We seem to have a good relationship with the manager. Everybody at the club gets on with the gaffer and long may it continue. I hope he builds something here for many years to come.”

Southern’s aim now is to get back in the team for the play-offs after a red card in the Easter Monday draw with Barnsley resulted in a three-game ban

He said: “I’ve been champing at the bit to get back because I thought I was playing really well before I got banned and it has been frustrating to sit out games.

“There have been no clues yet from the gaffer as to whether I’ll be involved at Millwall.

“If I play, then great, I will give it my best as I always do. I have always looked after myself, and I am fit and raring to go.

“But if I don’t play Saturday, I will train hard the following week and look to get in for one of the play-off games.”