Blackpool season could finally start for Jimmy Ryan on last day
Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips is hoping Jimmy Ryan will get his only taste of action all season in Saturday’s final game.
The 30-year-old, who was an unused substitute at Oakwell, hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in the final game of last season at Rotherham United.
Ryan underwent surgery and suffered a number of setbacks but he has been back in training for three weeks.
The former Fleetwood Town man is out of contract this summer but McPhillips is hopeful Ryan will take the field against Gillingham.
“It’s just brilliant to have Jimmy back,” the Pool boss said. “It’s a lift for all of the players but especially for Jimmy.
“He’s been training really well now for a number of weeks and hopefully he’ll get some time on the pitch.”
Ryan could face competition for a midfield place from Matty Virtue, who missed last weekend’s game.
The 21-year-old suffered a gashed leg in a horror tackle from Fleetwood’s Nathan Sheron, who was shown a straight red card in Pool’s Easter Monday win.
McPhillips revealed Virtue could have featured at Barnsley had he been required: “He’s not actually as bad as we first thought but he does have a gash just above his ankle, so we didn’t want to risk him.
“I think if there was something riding on the game and we were still in the hunt for a play-off place he would have played at Barnsley. But we’ve looked after him and he’ll feature next week.”
McPhillips sang the praises of left-back Marc Bola, who has enjoyed a fine debut campaign with the Seasiders.
The former Arsenal man, signed on a free transfer at the start of the season, has made himself one of the first names on the Blackpool teamsheet and has made 43 appearances.
McPhillips said: “He’s a hell of a player and he’s been a hell of a signing for us. He’s the modern full-back because he attacks so well but he didn’t play as well as normal with the ball at Barnsley.
“I was disappointed with that but he gave it everything he’s got with his passion, heart and desire.”