Blackpool may be forced into changes for Bristol Rovers’ visit

Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips and everyone at Bloomfield Road are focusing on league matters after their midweek Arsenal trip
Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips and everyone at Bloomfield Road are focusing on league matters after their midweek Arsenal trip

Terry McPhillips admitted he may have to make changes for Blackpool’s return to league action against Bristol Rovers.

The Seasiders have had little time to recover from Wednesday’s efforts at the Emirates, where they pushed Arsenal all the way before losing 2-1.

McPhillips admits tiredness could come into play at Bloomfield Road this afternoon, which could force his hand when it comes to team selection.

The manager said: “I got back into my house at about 5.05am on Thursday. All the motorways were shut and we were diverted everywhere, so we’ve had that.

“The boys have obviously had a really tough game. We probably covered more mileage than we normally do, so rest and recovery after that is important.

“We’ve done some light training with those lads and trained the others a bit harder, and then we’ll see how they turn up.

“We’ve got an idea of the team, of course, but one or two might need a rest. One or two fresh faces might freshen it up.

“I think the physical side will be a factor with how we’ve recovered. I’m sure there will be one or two with heavy legs, but we’ll just have to get that out of the system.

“But the performance was outstanding; to go to the top team in Europe at the moment, a massive club, and they only had two shots on target which they scored both.”

Despite Bristol Rovers sitting 20th in League One, having scored just 11 times in 16 games, McPhillips is still expecting a tough test.

“They’re well organised,” the Pool boss said. “I watched them at Rochdale a few weeks ago and they’re hard to get past.

“They haven’t been scoring a lot and they don’t concede many either, so I’m expecting a tight game. I’m expecting a tough game for lots of reasons.

“It’s a good club, they’ve got some good players and they’re just waiting to go on their good run.

“It’s a tough game for us but it’s one we’re hoping to do well in.

“It’s probably the biggest game of the season so far because it’s the next one.

“It’s a home game and it’s on the back of two good wins at home, so if we’re going to do anything we’re going to have to play well against Bristol Rovers, it’s as simple as that.”

Blackpool coach Chris Short has left the club to take up a sports science position at Oxford United.

The 48-year-old, who joined the club as a first-team coach in July, has recently occupied the role of fitness coach at Bloomfield Road.

Elsewhere, Blackpool’s U18s will play Scunthorpe United in the second round of the FA Youth Cup, with the tie taking place at Glanford Park on Tuesday, November 6 (7.45pm).

The young Seasiders beat Guiseley 4-0 in the first round of the competition.