Blackpool midfielder Jay Spearing believes the Seasiders have a “fantastic” manager in Gary Bowyer, who could take the club even further if he remains at Bloomfield Road.
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Bowyer is now preparing for his third season in charge at the club after exceeding all expectations in his first two .
Having arrived after the club had suffered the second of its back-to-back relegations, the former Blackburn Rovers boss guided the Seasiders back to the third tier at the first attempt.
He followed that up by masterminding a 12th- placed finish in League One after the club had been tipped for relegation at the start of the season.
Spearing, who had previously worked with Bowyer at Ewood Park, believes the Pool boss deserves all the plaudits that come his way.
“He’s a fantastic gaffer,” the midfielder told The Gazette. “He’s proved what a good manager he is with the resources he’s had over the last two years.
“He’s got the lads working hard for him and playing how we wants them to play.
“They’ve obviously come through the play-offs and got promotion, and he fully deserved to get Manager of the Year for that.
“Then in League One the lads believed in what he wanted to do and he’s stuck behind us, so it’s worked well. I think if he stays he can kick them on again. I’ve no doubt he can.”
Spearing was left as a free agent last summer, when contract negotiations with former club Bolton were severed after weeks of talks.
But the midfielder put that behind him to enjoy a fine campaign with the Seasiders, having signed in October until the end of the season.
Spearing added: “We kept in touch after I worked with him at Blackburn and we spoke quite a bit throughout the years.
“Even when things were going on last summer which were out of my hands, he was ringing me and asking what was going on.
“He told me to keep myself fit, and if I wanted to come in and train to let him know.
“He sorted all that out, so I owe him a lot.”
The 29-year-old, who made 39 appearances for the Seasiders last season, has yet to decide on his future.
He is one of five out-of-contract players who remain in talks with the club. The others Kelvin Mellor, Dolly Menga, Clark Robertson and Kyle Vassell.