Triple boost at the back for Blackpool boss Bowyer

Sam Slocombe

Sam Slocombe

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Blackpool are nearing a clean bill of health with the return of three key players to their backline.

Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, and defenders Andy Taylor and Clark Robertson are all in line for a return to Pool’s squad ahead of tomorrow’s home fixture against Cambridge.

The timely returns have given Pool boss Gary Bowyer something of a selection headache as the Seasiders look to return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats in league and cup.

Bowyer said: “We’ve done OK this week. Andy Taylor should be OK for the weekend and Clark Robertson should be back as well.

“Sam Slocombe is back training, so hopefully he’ll come through that and we’ll have him available as well.

“It gives us options and provides us with some competition, which is always important for the group.”

Slocombe has been out of action since injuring his groin a fortnight ago in the draw at Crewe, where he was replaced by Dean Lyness at half-time.

Lyness has taken the starting position in goal, while winger Colin Daniel has also come in at left-back to cover for Taylor, who suffered a broken nose in the 1-0 loss at Crawley last weekend.

Robertson was brought off at half-time against Portsmouth 10 days ago, apparently with concussion.

It means Blackpool now have only Danny Pugh and Jack Redshaw out on the sidelines. Both still some way from returning.

Bowyer revealed: “Danny Pugh is making good progress and Jack Redshaw has been out on the training ground for the first time.

“Listening to him, it’s the first running he’s done pain- free for 15 months, so we’re delighted for him but we’re not going to put him under any pressure or give him any time frame. We’ll just take it step by step. We’ll reassess the situation at the end of the month.

“If you ask Danny Pugh if he is available for selection he would probably tell you yes – he’s desperate to be involved.

“We’re nearly there with him but we would be daft to risk him this weekend.

“We’re delighted he’s made enough progress for us to half- consider him.”

Despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at Bolton in midweek in the Checkatrade Trophy, the Pool boss was happy with what he described as another pleasing performance.

“The number of opportunities we had on their goal was really pleasing,” he said.

“With the number of changes we made and the disruption, the way we have been playing didn’t change and that was a big positive for us,

“It means those players who step into the team can continue the way we are playing.”