Boyce: Blackpool must deliver now

Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce
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Emmerson Boyce believes Blackpool must now start to deliver as they approach the business end of the season.

The full-back has plenty of experience of battling relegation, having been involved in many such scraps in the Premier League with Wigan.

And with 17 games left in this League One campaign, the defender knows it’s do or die for a Pool side just four points above the drop zone.

Boyce said: “I think this is the important time of the season now. This is when it all counts.

“We don’t want to be in the bottom four. We are playing a lot of the teams around us in the coming games, so it’s all in our own hands.

“We need to push up the table and everything will be all right.

The 36-year-old has been in and out of Neil McDonald’s side in recent weeks, mainly due to the form of on-loan right-back Hayden White.

Boyce missed Tuesday’s draw with Oldham but is in the squad to face Swindon this afternoon, though the likelihood is he will be on the bench at best.

But he won’t be kicking up a fuss about that. Boyce explained: “I respect the manager’s decision. I’m getting older and I can’t kid anyone.

“I’m still frustrated when I don’t play but I’m more understanding now.

“We have a good squad and I have a good battle with Hayden. As a senior player I can’t be showing my frustration. I have to lead by example.

“Even when I’m not playing, I feel I have a role to play in the team.

“It’s my job to calm players down, especially at this time when the pressure rises.

“I’ve been through this a lot in my career, so hopefully that can help.”

While manager McDonald has added to his squad as the season has wore on, Boyce has been at the club since August and has noticed a big difference of late.

“It shows how much progress we’ve made that we’ve been favourites (going into matches) lately,” he said.

“At the start of the season no-one was giving us a hope of winning.

“Going in as favourites has been a bit strange but we have to live up to the expectation.

“The players who have been here from the start were good – they just needed to mature.

“As the season goes on the players are gaining more experience and I think that’s showing.

“The mood in general is good. We are all full of confidence.”