Baps looking forward to Pool reunion

Former Pool defender Alex Baptiste
Former Pool defender Alex Baptiste
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Alex Baptiste is expecting a tough afternoon against his old club despite the Seasiders’ slump.

The 27-year-old Bolton defender today faces Pool for the second time since leaving Bloomfield Road last summer.

Baptiste is surprised by Pool’s loss of form, saying: “I don’t know what has happened there. The gaffer (Paul Ince) is unbelievable and a born winner.

“They are not having a good time at the minute but they are still not far away.

“People always look at the negatives but I know whatever side he brings here will be a good one.”

Baptiste is part of Pool folklore as a member of the promotion-winning side of 2010 and the FA third-round draw was a dream come true for the former Mansfield man.

But he insists there will be no mixed loyalties this afternoon. “My time at Blackpool will never be bettered as long as I play,” he said.

“It will be great to see the lads but when the whistle goes you don’t have friends on the pitch. They will be trying to get one over on me and I’ll be doing the same. I’m happy at Bolton and I want a cup run.”

Bolton lie 18th in the Championship and have announced debts of £160m, while the fans are losing patience with Dougie Freedman’s side.

Baptiste admits the players felt the negativity in the stadium during the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day.

“After the two goals went in you could see it,” he said. “It wasn’t nice at times, but you have to scrap in this league and the spirit of the boys was different class.”