Suspended Blackpool defender Kelvin Mellor will be a big miss for today’s game against Colchester United, says manager Gary Bowyer.
The right-back will sit out this afternoon’s game at Bloomfield Road after being shown a red card during the 2-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers last week.
The 26-year-old was sent his marching orders after collecting two yellow cards in the space of five minutes in Pool’s FA Cup defeat at Ewood Park, and Bowyer concedes they will rue his absence against the U’s.
“Kelvin would be a miss to any team because of the goals he has contributed as well as his defensive capabilities,” he said.
“He has been a fantastic performer for us this season with his level of consistency. The fact he has contributed seven goals as well is a massive bonus.
“He will be missed but it provides someone else with an opportunity to stake a claim to be in the team.
“Whoever comes in for him, that’s what we’ll be expecting to see from them.”
Mellor has been one of Pool’s most impressive performers this season but Bowyer believes there is even more to come from the former Crewe man.
He added: “He’s not underrated here because we rate him very highly. But we’re always pushing him because we think there’s still more to come from him.
“In these next few games after he misses out on Saturday, we’ll be demanding he goes up another gear as we think that’s well in his capabilities.”
Colchester come to Bloomfield Road having lost their nine-match unbeaten run with a bang after going down to a 3-0 defeat at Exeter City last weekend.
But the U’s are still handily placed in the league as they sit in ninth place, just three points off Wycombe in seventh.
John McGreal’s men took all three points in the reverse fixture at the Community Stadium back in September.
Bowyer is well aware of the tough challenge his side will face.
The Pool boss commented: “They’re another team who have found ways of winning football matches.
“They’ve recruited well in the window and they find themselves right up there. So they present a challenge for us but it’s one we’re looking forward to and one we’ve got to take on.”
The Seasiders return to league action in rude health with no new injury worries.
“We’re looking really good,” Bowyer said. “Kyle Vassell joined in training on Thursday for the first time and that’s really good news.
“Colin Daniel has had a full week and Eddie Nolan has trained.
“Brad Potts has trained all week as well so the injury situation has improved a lot for us in the last week.”