Blackpool players are fit and firing for Southend United trip

Jay Spearing has been one of the absentees in recent weeks
Jay Spearing has been one of the absentees in recent weeks

Blackpool have overcome their recent injury and suspension woes and are close to boasting a clean bill of health.

The Seasiders have had to do without a number of key players in recent weeks, with players including Mark Howard, Marc Bola, Joe Bunney, Donervon Daniels and Jay Spearing all spending time on the sidelines with injuries.

Meanwhile Paudie O’Connor and Armand Gnanduillet are now back and available for selection after serving their recent suspensions.

Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips, speaking ahead of today’s trip to Southend United, said Jimmy Ryan and Max Clayton were the only two players who had not trained by Thursday.

“It’s good to have a bit of a headache,” the Pool boss said.

“We’ll travel down to Southend early on Friday morning and we’ll have to leave some players behind.

“We’ve been in that position before, it’s not the nicest thing, I don’t like doing it, but it’s the way it is.

“But, from a selfish point of view, it’s good we’ve got quite a lot of players now.

“I think there’s only Jimmy Ryan and Max Clayton that aren’t training at the moment, so that’s good.

“It was great to have Donervon and Joe (Bunney) come through Tuesday night unscathed. Mark Howard is also back fit now, so that’s good.

“Both Donervon and Joe got 90 minutes and how well did Joe do?

“Especially when you consider his last game was Shrewsbury (in August).

“So the midweek game was good as we rotated a few and we were able to give a few others a second opportunity. We won the game as well, which was great.

“Jay was a bit tight last week, so we’ve managed to do without him for a couple of games but he’ll come back in and play. Marc Bola has also trained.”

One man who will be pushing for a start at Roots Hall this afternoon is Joe Dodoo following his sudden spike in form.

Having scored in last weekend’s FA Cup victory at Exeter City, the loanee from Rangers netted a brace in Tuesday night’s 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy win over Accrington Stanley.

The 23-year-old hasn’t started a league game since early September but McPhillips says he has put himself in the frame.

“Fair play to Joe Dodoo, who I thought was outstanding on Saturday. He then took his goals superbly well on Tuesday night,” McPhillips said.

“So he’s backed up that performance in the FA Cup with those goals (in the Checkatrade Trophy). I’m really pleased for him.

“Armand (Gnanduillet) also came back on Tuesday and looked a bit rusty first half, but he got better and took his goal well. So it’s good when your strikers are scoring.”