Blackpool’s new signing wants to hit the ground running

Matty Virtue (right) swapped Liverpool for Blackpool on deadline day
Matty Virtue (right) swapped Liverpool for Blackpool on deadline day
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Blackpool’s deadline day signing Matty Virtue insists he’s got no interest in waiting around to make his first start for the club.

The 21-year-old made a permanent move to the Seasiders on Thursday night from Liverpool, where he had been captaining their Under-23 side.

While he’s still only young and he’s well aware Blackpool are going well in League One, the central midfielder says he wants to get into the team as quickly as possible.

He said: “I spoke to the manager (Terry McPhillips) and he said Jay Spearing got injured in the midweek game so there are spaces there.

“So it’s down to me if I get the opportunity to try and keep the shirt.

“I think any player coming to a new club wants to get straight into the team, that’s exactly what I want to do.

“I’m not coming here to just sit on the bench, I’m coming here to help the team and get as many games as possible.”

While the full extent of Spearing’s injury isn’t yet known, there’s every chance that Virtue could find himself thrown in the deep end with Blackpool at Accrington Stanley this afternoon.

He will be competing against the likes of Chris Taylor and Nya Kirby for a start, but Virtue is the more defensive-minded player out of the three, similar to Spearing.

Virtue, who played against Accrington while on loan at Notts County last season, says he knows exactly what to expect from John Coleman’s side.

“I played Accrington away last season and it was a freezing day on not the greatest pitch, which I’m sure will be similar again,” he said.

“But I’m sure it will be a good atmosphere down there and I’ll be looking forward to it.

“They’re a very good side and I think they’ve got a bit of everything.

“They were very deserving of what they got last season (winning the League Two title).

“They’re tough to play against but hopefully when we go there we can do them over.

“We’re only six points off the play-offs so it’s obviously a good group of lads and a very good team.

“There’s some good teams in this division, especially at the top of the table, but if we look at the results Blackpool have probably done better against the better teams. Hopefully we can carry that on.”

Training at Squires Gate and washing his own kit could be quite an eye-opener for many young players, especially those coming out of Premier League academies, but Virtue insists it isn’t a concern.

“That doesn’t bother me at all,” he added.

“I think I knew what I was coming into and I’m more than happy to deal with that.

“I’m just here to get in the team, play games, help the team and win football matches. All the other stuff takes care of itself.

“I’ve not actually said my goodbyes to people at Liverpool yet but I’m sure it will be a sad moment when I do because I met a lot of good people and a lot of good friends there over the years.”