Clark: I’m not mad and I’ll keep Blackpool up

New Blackpool manager Lee Clark
New Blackpool manager Lee Clark
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Lee Clark insisted he is not mad to have taken on the Blackpool job, telling fans: ‘I’ll keep Blackpool up’.

The 42-year-old was confirmed as Pool’s fourth manager of 2014 yesterday after three days of talks following the sacking of Jose Riga on Monday.

New Blackpool FC manager Lee Clark takes his first training session at the club's training ground in Squires Gate, Blackpool

New Blackpool FC manager Lee Clark takes his first training session at the club's training ground in Squires Gate, Blackpool

He arrived on the Fylde coast late on Wednesday night before signing a one-year rolling contract yesterday morning and heading straight to the club’s Squires Gate training ground to meet his new squad.

And after taking training, the former Birmingham boss sat down with The Gazette to insist he can turn round the club’s terrible start.

“I probably am mad, but I’m not mad in my decision to come to Blackpool,” he said.

“If I thought it was too big a risk of a decision to come here then I wouldn’t have done it.

“It’s a gamble because of the position we are in but I believe we can get out of this position.

“Let’s be honest, no-one outside of Blackpool gives us a chance of surviving, maybe even some people in Blackpool.

“But I have belief in the players and I wouldn’t have taken the job if I thought we wouldn’t stay up.

“I’ve never been relegated as a coach, player or manager so I don’t want one now.

“I believe we have the 
armoury to make that not happen.”

Clark will have had just 48 hours at the club by the time Saturday’s visitors Ipswich arrive for his first game as Blackpool boss.

It’s unlikely he’ll be able to add to his squad ahead of the game, although Clark insists he’s been given assurances there will be money available for him to spend by Chairman Karl Oyston.

He said: “We’ve spoken about signings and it’s something I’ll be looking to do.

“There’s scope for me to bring some loan players in quickly before the window opens again in January.

“It’s one of the things I spoke to the chairman about before coming here and he assures me funds are available for both now and in January.

“I’ll be assessing the squad over the next couple of days to see what areas we need to strengthen in.”

Clark is currently working alongside current coaches Noel Blake and Paul Crichton while he looks to add his own staff in the coming days.

It’s understood Oyston is allowing him to bring a number of staff including a fitness coach, chief scout and at least one more coach.

But it’s an area which Clark said is as yet unclear.

“How many I bring in, I don’t know,” he said.

“I’m looking to strengthen areas which don’t have people in at the moment.

“I’ve worked with Paul and Noel yesterday and they’ve been good for me to get to know the players.

“We’ll see in the coming weeks I’m sure there will be people coming in.”