Gillett: My debt to pool

SIMON Gillett has issued a heartfelt thank you to Blackpool FC – and instructed them to go and beat Huddersfield in the FA Cup.

The Seasiders' loan man has returned to his club Southampton after a successful three-month stay.

But Gillett has told The Gazette that he loved every minute of his time at Bloomfield Road and wants to return to Blackpool when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

"If the opportunity arose I would come back to Blackpool," he said.

"We'll see what both parties discuss and whether they can come to an agreement.

"I don't want to be presumptuous because I don't know whether firstly Simon Grayson will want me back or secondly if Southampton will let me. But I hope so because the whole three months have been great.

"I was never worried I'd joined the wrong club, despite the results at the start. For me it was all about going somewhere where I could play first team football.

"The manager at Blackpool told me I would get a chance and I was just delighted that I could come to a place where I was going to get some first team football.

"I just want to wish them all the best for the next few months now and I hope they can start by beating Huddersfield at the weekend and starting on a good Cup run."

Simon Grayson has consistently expressed surprise about how well Gillett has done during his spell at the club.

The manager expected a player of Gillett's age – he celebrated his 21st birthday two days ago – to blow hot and cold.

But the midfielder's performances have been consistently good ... but, unlike his boss, Gillett is not surprised by how well he did.

"I can honestly say I've not really surprised myself with how I've done. I was ready because I have been waiting for this chance for quite a while," he added.

"Coming to Blackpool was a big opportunity for me and I knew I had to try and grab it with both hands.

"I think I did that but I have to give every credit to everyone at the club, from the players to the manager to the fans.

"They all helped me settle really quickly and I think that's why I was able to do a decent job."

Despite enjoying a successful loan spell, Gillett's stay at Blackpool did end in slightly disappointing circumstances.

He was on the bench for his farewell game at Northampton, after losing his place the weekend before owing to a suspension after a petulant sending off.

Gillett was shown two yellow cards during the victory at Crewe for time-wasting and kicking the ball away ... something he regrets.

"I do regret the sending off. It was silly of me but I'm a young player and I have still got a lot to learn," said Gillett.

"That's why I have come on loan, to get experience and to make myself a better allround player and person. I need to learn from mistakes like that and I will.

"Of course I wanted to start at Northampton but Adrian Forbes replaced me when I was suspended and he did really well.

"So although I was disappointed not to start I couldn't really complain because I was the one who got myself suspended and Adrian took his chance and deserved to stay in.

"But I was just glad to get on at Northampton because it wouldn't have been nice not to have featured at all in my final game at the club.

"I wanted to say a final goodbye to the fans and when I came on in the second half I was able to do that."

Gillett added: "It will be difficult to go back to Southampton and not be playing in front of crowds.

"Everyone at Blackpool has said hopefully they'll see me again but there's nothing definite. I don't know what Mr Grayson's plans are but I suppose I'll find out."

Gillett made 15 appearaances for the Seasiders, scoring two goals.

He is under contract at Southampton until summer 2008 but Grayson plans to talk to Saints boss George Burley in the next few weeks about bringing Gillett back on a six-month loan in January.

n WES Hoolahan is one booking away from a suspension after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season at Northampton.

Hoolahan was cautioned in the second half for kicking the ball away.

It was his third booking in the last four games and one more caution will result in a one-match ban.

n FORMER Pool striker Matt Shaw has been released by Morecambe.

n THE Seasiders take on Hartlepool in the FA Youth Cup first round tonight, kick-off 7pm. Admission at Bloomfield Road is 4 adults, 2 concessions.