Blackpool’s fringe players who featured in Saturday’s FA Cup first round win will get another chance to impress in tonight’s final Checkatrade Trophy group game.
The likes of Ryan McLaughlin, John O’Sullivan and Joe Dodoo were handed starts at the weekend in Pool’s 3-2 victory over Exeter City.
Regular minutes have been hard to come by for the trio, but Terry McPhillips says they will the opportunity to stake their claim in tonight’s game against Accrington Stanley.
“I think there will be a lot of the lads that played at Exeter will play again, so it will be a first time for some of them to play Saturday-Tuesday for a while,” the Pool boss told The Gazette.
“But we’ll have a strong team out.”
McPhillips made five changes to his side for Saturday’s win in Devon, but it paid dividends as the Seasiders made it through to the second round against their League Two opposition.
A number of the changes were enforced, with first-teamers Mark Howard, Donervon Daniels, Marc Bola and Jay Spearing all missing out with slight knocks.
McPhillips added: “Making so many changes, that’s the chance you take to be fair and that’s what we’ve been doing in the cup games.
“This is the FA Cup and these other lads have been training ever so well and they deserved a go. No one was being rested, don’t get us wrong on that.
“Mark Howard is just not fit yet, he will be quick, Donervon (Daniels) is not quite ready, Jay (Spearing) is just a bit tight, Marc (Bola) has a foot injury, so that’s it.
“We’ve used the squad and it’s paid off for us, so we’re delighted.
“The last three away games we’ve been fantastic. One of them was Arsenal, so to go Gillingham with the form they were in and then to come here and get the win after making so many changes and giving some other lads a chance, I’m really pleased.
“They’re good lads, they deserve a go and they’ve proven it. It’s as simple as that.
“It’s a squad game and there are loads of games coming up. All the other lads have little knocks and niggles and they’re coming back, so it was the right thing to do.”
Blackpool are currently bottom of their Checkatrade Trophy group, but are still able to qualify for the knockout stages.
They need to win and hope West Bromwich Albion U21s draw with Macclesfield Town and lose on penalties. That will leave all three sides level on four points, with the team with the highest goal difference sealing second place.