Blackpool’s players’ professional response to the week’s events

Terry McPhillips will be directing operations for Blackpool following Gary Bowyer's departure
Terry McPhillips will be directing operations for Blackpool following Gary Bowyer's departure
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Interim Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips has praised the club’s players for the way they have responded to Gary Bowyer’s shock resignation.

Bowyer decided to step down from his role Monday, leaving McPhillips to take charge for today’s game against Portsmouth.

McPhillips revealed a number of the players were “devastated” by the news, but he has been impressed with how they have managed to turn their focus to their opening home game of the season.

“The lads have responded fantastically,” he said. “We already knew we had a fantastic group.

“They’re a great bunch of lads. We had them up in Scotland for a week to get to know each other better but now they’re already putting in a shift for each other and covering each other. They’ve gelled really nicely.

“To say we had eight making their debuts at Wycombe, and two making their Football League debuts, they’ve done really well.”

Pool take on a Portsmouth team who opened the season with a narrow 1-0 win over Luton Town last weekend.

Kenny Jackett’s side are among the favourites to be promoted from League One this season and McPhillips is expecting a tough test.

He added: “They’re well organised with some good players. They normally play 4-4-2 and they’re hard to get past.

“They’re good with set plays and are competitive, big, strong and athletic. That’s what Kenny’s teams are.”

Pool might have to do without injured pair Jimmy Ryan and Ryan McLaughlin again for today’s clash, despite both of them returning to training this week.

“They were on the pitch on Thursday so they’re making progress,” McPhillips said. “We’ll get a report from Phil Horner (physio) and see where they’re up to. But they’re running around which is positive news.

“There’s a few knocks and bruises from last week. I think if you play Wycombe, they’re a side who will slam it down your throat a bit, they do it really well to be fair with the beast up front. But because of that there’s some bumps and bruises.

“There were one or two who missed training on Tuesday because of that. A couple were back on Thursday and one or two carrying a few niggles, bruises and black eyes. But hopefully we’ll have the same squad to choose from.”