Blackpool keeper saves play-off talk for later

Dean Lyness
Dean Lyness
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Blackpool goalkeeper Dean Lyness insists any thoughts of finishing in the League Two play-offs aren’t at the forefront of the players’ minds.

The Seasiders’ recent form, which has seen them claim 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five games, has left them just one point outside the top seven with eight games to play, starting at home to Hartlepool tomorrow.

Blackpool are currently the country’s form side – alongside Chelsea, Sheffield United and League Two leaders Doncaster Rovers – and will be looking to build on their eight-match unbeaten streak when they welcome Dave Jones’ relegation-threatened side to Bloomfield Road.

Following last weekend’s 3-1 win at Newport County, Lyness insisted the Blackpool players are only concentrating on their next game.

He said: “We just focused on doing our job and made sure we left with the three points.

“We’ve got eight games to go and it will be exactly the same mentality next weekend, when we will be trying to win again.

“The closer you get to the end of the season you start to maybe think about it but it’s not at the forefront of our minds right now.

“It’s just about focusing on winning games consistently.”

Gary Bowyer’s men will be firm favourites to extend their unbeaten run against struggling Hartlepool.

The Pools currently sit in 21st spot in League Two and tomorrow’s game provides Pool with a priceless chance to return to the play-off zone the first time since December.

Lyness added: “We’re eight unbeaten and we’ve only lost one in the last 14 in the league.

“That’s the mentality we’ve got because we don’t like losing. That’s what we showed coming back from two down the other week against Barnet.

“We’ve got the hunger and desire to get points from games and we’ve just got to keep that mentality until the end of the season.”

Lyness, who has made the number one jersey his own in recent weeks since stepping in for the injured Sam Slocombe, was also full of praise for his team-mate Bright Osayi-Samuel.

The 19-year-old bagged two at Newport’s Rodney Parade and also played a crucial role in Pool’s other goal, winning the penalty which Mark Cullen converted to put Pool 2-0 in front.

Lyness said: “Bright has got pace to burn and he’s got the ability to take players on.

“He’s a real talented lad and I’m delighted to see him get two goals because he deserves it.”

Attention will be focused on the stands as well as the pitch tomorrow: Pool have slashed ticket prices to £5 in a bid to boost the attendance, while Hartlepool are expected to bring around 1,500 travelling fans.