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Blackpool boss Bowyer is ready for the real test ahead

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer and his assistant Terry McPhillips
Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer and his assistant Terry McPhillips

Gary Bowyer says he is delighted to finally get Blackpool’s pre-season friendlies out of the way, with the focus now switching to their League One curtain raiser at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

The Seasiders drew 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday in what was their final warm-up before the new season gets underway this weekend.

Bowyer, who is known to be a manager that does not particularly enjoy pre-season games, is happy now league football is on the horizon.

He said: “Going into the game the lads wanted to stay unbeaten and they’ve done that. Fair play to them.

“From a personal view, I’m delighted pre-season is over and we can get into the real stuff because next week will be a totally different game to this one.

“The main thing was to come out of it with no injuries and to get some more minutes into the players legs again, and we’ve managed to do that.

“I thought we played well first half with a good shape, which we’ve done a bit of work on.

“We score an excellent goal and created several more chances, but second half we looked a little bit leggy but that’s to be expected with what we’ve done with them this week.

“We made some changes which disrupts it a little bit, but overall I thought it was a very good workout.”

In the latest transfer news, Blackpool could potentially be about to lose central defender Curtis Tilt in the same week Kelvin Mellor turns them down to join Bradford City.

Bowyer previously told The Gazette he was confident of sealing a new deal for Mellor, who is now a free agent after his contract at Blackpool ended at the start of July.

It is understood a deal was close last week, but it appears Mellor has had a last-minute change of heart – much to the annoyance of Bowyer who had left the door open for the right back to return.

Bradford looks to be the most likely destination, a club Mellor was linked with during the January transfer window.

“I don’t think he’s signing for us, I think he’s going to sign for somebody else,” Bowyer told The Gazette.

When asked if that club is Bradford City, Bowyer replied: “Apparently so. That’s that one done.

“How big a blow is it? I think only time will tell in that sense.

“The way it ended up being done by Kelvin himself has not been great to be perfectly honest.”

Tilt, meanwhile, remained an unused substitute during Saturday’s game at Gresty Road.

Championship side Ipswich appear to be closing in on a deal for the centre-back, with the two clubs holding renewed talks last week after two previously rejected bids.

Ipswich boss Paul Hurst, when told Tilt didn’t feature in Saturday’s game, told the East Anglian Daily Times: “Didn’t he? I wasn’t aware of that but I’m smiling, so hopefully that’s good news.”