Blackpool could be handed a timely fitness boost for this weekend's trip to Bournemouth

Blackpool could be handed a timely fitness boost for this weekend's long trip to the South Coast.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 2:46 pm

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Blackpool boss Neil Critchley vows to stick to transfer plans

The Seasiders take on Bournemouth on Saturday looking to claim their first league victory of the campaign, having taken just one point from their opening three league games.

Neil Critchley has revealed this afternoon the Seasiders could have Daniel Gretarsson and Kevin Stewart back available for selection this weekend.

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Gretarsson has been sidelined since the end of April with a shoulder problem he had surgery on over the summer.

The defender has been back in training for the last couple of weeks and could now make his return at the Vitality Stadium this weekend.

Stewart, meanwhile, is also back in contention having recovered from the ankle injury he suffered in the pre-season friendly against Manchester City.

“Kevin Stewart possibly might come back into the squad, hopefully anyway. Daniel Gretarsson - possibly as well," Critchley told The Gazette.

Stewart has been sidelined since injuring his ankle in pre-season

“Other than that, I don’t think anyone else will be back. But we didn’t suffer anything from Tuesday night, so it’ll be a very similar squad.”

Stewart's return would be especially welcome for Pool, who have also been without fellow midfielder Kenny Dougall.

Having returned himself from an injury against Cardiff City last weekend, last season's Wembley hero was dropped to the bench and rested for the midweek defeat to Coventry.

The 28-year-old, however, did come off the bench in the second-half and will be pushing to start again against the Cherries on Saturday.

Both Dougall and Stewart played a leading role in Pool's promotion from League One last season, offering protection for the back four.

On the potential return of Stewart, Critchley said: “He was a big player for us last season, a really important player.

“He’s had such a frustrating time in pre-season with the little groin strain against Southport then picking up that ankle injury against Manchester City and Covid as well.

“Kev gets irritable when he’s not on the pitch and he’s not playing, because he wants to help the team.

“He obviously wants to get back in the Championship where he was before and prove himself, so he’ll be desperate to come back as quickly as possible.

“If he does, he’ll prove to be a very valuable player for us again this season like he was last season.”

Pool are still without Matty Virtue (ACL), Demetri Mitchell (knee) and Gary Madine (groin).

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