Blackpool boss declares behind-closed-doors friendly against Morecambe a 'success'

Blackpool played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Morecambe at Squires Gate on Tuesday
Blackpool played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Morecambe at Squires Gate on Tuesday

Terry McPhillips believes Blackpool's behind-closed-doors friendly against Morecambe proved to be a worthwhile experience for the club's new players as well as those individuals looking to get more game time.

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Deadline day captures Antony Evans and Matty Virtue both started as a much-changed Pool side were beaten 2-0 by a strong Morecambe outfit at Squires Gate on Tuesday.

Fellow January arrivals Nya Kirby and Elias Sorensen also featured alongside Joe Dodoo, who made his return from injury.

The starting 11 also featured Nick Anderton, Michael Nottingham and Chris Taylor.

“That was for the lads who haven’t played to get a game," McPhillips said. "It was also a good chance to have a look at the new lads.

“It’s different to playing Under-23s football playing Morecambe and it was a good game. That was a success.

“They were desperate to get minutes in their lads as well because their training schedule has been hampered by weather and trying to get on grass pitches and stuff like that.

“It was really useful for both teams. We knew they were coming with their first team so it was always going to be a good game.”

It was also a good chance for both sides to play 90 minutes after their respective weekend fixtures were postponed.

Blackpool were due to make the short trip to Accrington Stanley but the game was called off due to a frozen pitch.

That, McPhillips says, didn't come as a huge surprise to him.

“You sort of knew," he added.

"I know the Ribble Valley and I know where Accrington is. It was -3 by my house so we had a contingency plan to train anyway and we did.

“You just get on with it, it’s one of those things.

“Come 10pm on March 5 (the date of the rearranged game) we will know if it was good or not.

“Only time will tell but Ollie Turton has come in and played two games so I think it was good for someone like him.

“I’d like to think Jay Spearing will be back for the rearranged game on March 5 but there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then, so we’ll see.

“It gave us some extra time to gel and to help relationships form. It wasn’t the worst thing that it got called off, I was expecting it anyway with the forecast.”

The postponement also gave Blackpool's deadline day signings Antony Evans and Matty Virtue to bed in with their new colleagues.

“I think it does take time and I thought with young Nya (Kirby) it probably took him 10 days to acclimatise," McPhillips said. "It’s probably a little colder up here.

“Certainly on Tuesday in the wind and the storm at Squires it was a new experience for him.

“But once he settled in, I thought he made a major impact coming off the bench against Wycombe. He was as bright as a button and showed quick feet to win the penalty.

“Antony and Matty both played on Tuesday and they both did well. It’s good to get the training days and for everyone to get to know each other.”