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Blackpool boss plays down Boundary Park visit

Blackpool hope Kyle Vassell will be available after scoring in the reverse fixture against Oldham Athletic
Blackpool hope Kyle Vassell will be available after scoring in the reverse fixture against Oldham Athletic

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has played down the importance of today’s relegation six-pointer at Oldham – insisting there’s “no added pressure”.

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The Seasiders appear to be just a win or two away from confirming their League One status for next season, as they currently sit on 47 points with seven games left to play.

But today could go a long way to deciding their fate, as they travel to Boundary Park to take on a team who currently find themselves in the bottom four.

But should Oldham pick up the three points this afternoon, Richie Wellens’ side will be four points behind with two games in hand.

Bowyer, speaking after Blackpool’s 2-1 Good Friday defeat to Doncaster Rovers, insists today’s game is no more important than the six fixtures that will follow it.

He said: “There’s no more added pressure on this match as there was on Friday’s game, and no more so than the six other games that are coming.

“The value of those games are still three points.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing someone in the bottom four, it doesn’t matter who you play. It’s the same amount of points.

“Friday was an opportunity missed to try and get three points and if we couldn’t do that, it was an opportunity missed to get a point.

“We haven’t done that, but Monday provides us with that opportunity again.

“We will recover, take the positives from our second-half performance and have a good go at Oldham.

“We came into Friday’s game on the back of just one defeat in nine and we hadn’t been beaten at home in 2018, which goes back all the way to December.

“So we’ve just got to make sure we recover and go again.

“Any game would give us an opportunity to bounce back but a local derby adds that little bit to it.”

Bowyer will hope to have the club’s top scorer Kyle Vassell available for selection after the striker missed Friday’s defeat with a slight knock.

The 25-year-old, who has nine goals to his name this season, trained on Thursday but Bowyer felt as though he wasn’t 100 per cent ready to take to the pitch against Doncaster 24 hours later.

He added: “He had a knock so unfortunately he wasn’t ready for Friday but he will be ready for Monday.”

Blackpool were well under-par in the first half of their game against Doncaster on Friday, but Bowyer was satisfied with how they reacted in the second period despite going down to a defeat.

“We weren’t aggressive enough in the first half but we showed a fantastic response in the second half,” he added.

“We were on the front foot, scored a fabulous goal and really had a go.

“It didn’t go our way but we will recover and prepare for Oldham on Monday.”