Chris Long is ready to battle for a Blackpool starting spot

Chris Long has swapped Fleetwood Town for Blackpool
Chris Long has swapped Fleetwood Town for Blackpool

New Blackpool signing Chris Long accepts he will have to fight his way into contention and can’t simply expect to be handed a first-team start.

The striker was announced as a Blackpool player on Tuesday, shortly after his contract had been cancelled at former club Fleetwood Town.

With the Seasiders missing a number of forward options through injury, Long could find himself getting a chance sooner than he would have anticipated.

But the 23-year-old insists he’s well aware he will have to fight for a place in the team.

Long said: “When I do get my chance then I’ve got to work so hard to keep myself in the team.

“But don’t get me wrong, I’m going to have to fight my way into the team because I haven’t been playing football. Once I’m in that team, I will work so hard to stay in it.”

Long, who was first linked with a move to Blackpool during the summer, knows Terry McPhillips well having been coached by him during his time at Everton’s academy as a youngster.

The striker revealed McPhillips was a big factor in him making the move to Bloomfield Road, along with a number of the club’s players like Jay Spearing and Jimmy Ryan.

“I remember when Terry was at Blackburn and at Everton, he was a very good manager and he was a very good coach as well,” Long added.

“So I’m just looking forward to being back with him and showing him what I can do to get in that starting 11.

“I also spoke to Jay and he was telling me to come. Obviously speaking with the manager it’s the right decision and I know it will be. I will work so hard to play football at this club.

“I’ve met most of the players but I will get to know them better over the coming weeks. I knew a few people before I came here just by playing for a variety of clubs.

“I just can’t wait to get playing with them on the pitch now.”

Long could make his first appearance for the club at Fratton Park this afternoon, where Blackpool take on league leaders Portsmouth.

It is a side Long has good memories of playing against, having netted three times against them for Northampton last season, a record the striker is looking to extend this weekend.

He said: “I hope to get some minutes, even if that’s just coming off the bench. I’m just looking forward to playing against Portsmouth.

“I scored goals against them last year and I’m looking forward to doing the same again this weekend.”