Blackpool skipper Jay Spearing believes Blackburn Rovers will be ideal pre-season opposition

Jay Spearing believes today’s friendly against Championship side Blackburn Rovers will be a good yardstick for Blackpool.

By Matt Scrafton
Saturday, 27th July 2019, 7:00 am
Jay Spearing is looking forward to this afternoons final pre-season friendly
Jay Spearing is looking forward to this afternoons final pre-season friendly

The Seasiders finish their pre-season preparations with their only home friendly of the summer.

It comes against a Blackburn side that finished 15th in the Championship last season, a level Simon Grayson’s men are aspiring to reach.

And Spearing says it will be a good test for Pool to see how they get on against a side in a higher division.

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“It will be nice to have our first game at Bloomfield Road since the last game of last season,” the 30-year-old said.

“It will be good to see the support at home and a good surface to play on, but it’s about minutes.

“It will be a tough test and will probably show us where we are fitness-wise because they’ve had a tough pre-season as well.

“They’ve got some good players and we want to compete against good teams. They’re in the Championship and that’s where we want to get to, so we want to see how we do.

“They came down to League One and they battled and got themselves back up and have since made themselves a solid Championship side – and that’s exactly what the owner is looking to do here.

“He wants to build a good League One team here to get us out of this division and into the Championship.

“He’s got a good set of lads who are right behind him and who are going to fight from the first whistle to the last in every game.

“We’re looking forward to the future and the games coming up thick and fast.

“We’ve had a good few days’ training with plenty of hard work, but we’re looking forward to being back at home.

“We want to make Bloomfield Road a bit of fortress, whether it’s a friendly or not, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

This afternoon’s friendly will be Grayson’s first appearance in Bloomfield Road’s home dugout since 2008, when he departed to join boyhood club Leeds United.

Despite only returning to the managerial hotseat at the beginning of July, Spearing says the new boss has already made an impact.

“I think you can see it (the difference),” he said.

“From the first minute he came in he’s brought in that professionalism.

“With the experience he’s got to bring to the team, he’s put his point across about the standard he wants and the lads are relishing it and taking it on board.”

A Blackpool XI will be in action at Longridge Town on Sunday, featuring youth-team players as well as those first-teamers who don’t feature against Blackburn.

The game against the North West Counties Football League outfit will kick off at 2pm.