Blackpool can't afford to ease off insists boss Bowyer

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer
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Gary Bowyer has told his Blackpool players they can’t allow their levels to drop as they are still not mathematically safe from relegation.

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The Seasiders’ superb 3-0 home win over Northampton Town on Tuesday stretched the gap to League One’s bottom four to 11 points.

It means Bowyer’s 12th-placed side are actually closer to the play-offs than to the drop zone but the Pool boss is refusing to get carried away.

“We’ve got four games left, which is 12 points by my maths,” he said.

“My maths actually got better when I was out of work because I watched Countdown with Rachel Riley. When she did the numbers, that improved my maths.

“So we’ve got 12 points to play for and I want us to get as many as we can. I’m not letting these players off and they know that. They’ve been told.

“People told me the magical number was 52 but until it’s mathematically done you’ll be getting the same answers from me.”

But Blackpool, who now have 53 points, have given themselves plenty of breathing space and some have suggested this could allow them to play with more freedom.

When asked if this might be the case, Bowyer replied: “The players are asked to express themselves all the time and that message won’t change.

“We have a certain way of playing and we will keep trying to play that way.”

The Seasiders now turn their attention to their third successive home game as they welcome Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood Town to Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

Bowyer is hoping to have a near fully-fit squad available, with Kyle Vassell and Kelvin Mellor both close to returning.

He added: “We’ve got to recover quickly now and go again because it’s a tough week for us – Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.

“It’s a local derby but we’ve got momentum and we want to continue that. I want us to finish as strongly as we possibly can and get as many points as we can.

“Kyle Vassell wasn’t far off returning on Tuesday to be fair, so we’re certainly hoping he will be back in on Saturday.

“Kelvin Mellor has also trained and he’s gone well, so as long as he comes through Thursday and Friday that will be another one back in.

“Jim McAlister has trained as well, so it will be difficult to pick a squad when we have everyone is fit.”

Mark Cullen impressed off the bench for the third game running on Tuesday as he continues his recovery from a seven-month lay-off.

“I thought he was outstanding again,” Bowyer added.

“It’s a bit like Bullseye with Mark Cullen, look at what you could have won, because I thought he was terrific again.