Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips says Michael Nottingham needs to show his talents on a more regular basis in order to nail down a regular starting spot.
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The 29-year-old defender, who arrived from Salford City during the summer, has shown plenty of promise at Bloomfield Road but has found himself in and out of the team in recent weeks.
Right-back Nottingham was on the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Southend United but made a positive impact when he came on for the final 20 minutes.
And that’s the sort of impact McPhillips wants to see him make more regularly.
The Pool manager said: “I thought Notts came on and showed his class. It was just his final pass that was missing.
“Jay (Spearing) played a lovely ball in behind for the one of the chances. ‘Notts’ created one chance for Jay and two for Nathan (Delfouneso), and he opened up as well.
“We’ve been waiting for him to open up and that’s something we did see in him when we watched him at Salford City. The boy can run – he’s a gazelle.
“He needs to do that. If he wants to get in the team he’s got to do that more often.
“He was one of the subs that came on and made an impact again, that’s good.”
Nottingham is one of many Blackpool players for whom regular football is far from guaranteed as competition for places hots up.
And that competition will become even more intense as the club’s injury list clears.
McPhillips added: “There’s only Jimmy (Ryan) and Max (Clayton) left who aren’t fit. That’s good and the competition is good. It’s the quality of lads we have on the bench too...”
The option to rest players is a welcome one after a gruelling sequence of six games in 18 days, which included long journeys south to Arsenal, Gillingham, Exeter and finally Southend.
And although Pool now face another demanding block of three games in seven days, McPhillips is relieved that sequence starts with a home game against Burton on Saturday.
“I can’t wait for that one,” he said, admitting “we’re all goosed” after Pool’s latest epic road trip to Roots Hall.
He promised his players a few days’ “family time to recover and recuperate” after the Southend game.
McPhillips added: “The win over Southend was just a great effort from everybody, staff included. Now we’ll get ready to go again.
“I haven’t looked that far ahead but I think it’s fair to say we’re all goosed, so let’s enjoy a few days with the family and then we’ll get back to it.”