Clark: My players could have no future in football

Lee Clark
Lee Clark
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Lee Clark has warned his Blackpool players that some of them are ruining their football careers.

The rock-bottom Seasiders have lost five games on the bounce and are without a win in nine going into tonight’s clash with Charlton at Bloomfield Road (7.45pm).

Clark was hugely critical of his players following Saturday’s 4-0 hammering at Bournemouth and has demanded a huge improvement against the Addicks.

He’s also questioned the long-term prospects of some members of his squad ... and not just at Bloomfield Road.

Clark said: “When I keep talking about them playing for their futures, I don’t mean at Blackpool – I mean their football futures.

“They’re playing for their families’ futures – these players have got wives and children.

“Their potential new managers will call me and ask about them. They will ask whether the players are fighters and have good characters, how they respond in adversity ... I can’t tell lies.

“Year in, year out you get a list of free-transfer players and you wouldn’t believe some of the players on it who don’t get fixed up – people at 31, 32, who have played at the highest level.

“The players need to realise very quickly that there might not just be no future for them at Blackpool but also in football.

“It’s their life and they’ve got to decide what they’re going to do.”

Clark refused to identify the players he was unhappy with at Bournemouth, though he did single out some he felt did well – and there weren’t many.

“There were three or four in the starting 11 who played at a decent level,” the Pool boss said. “David Perkins, Grant Hall and Gary Madine did their jobs.

“Michael Jacobs showed one or two things in flashes and Andrea Orlandi has a bit of magic in his feet. That’s probably it in terms of players who performed.”

A sixth straight defeat tonight would be Pool’s worst run of results since 1993, something Clark is desperate to avoid.

While the manager has been assured he has a long-term future at Bloomfield Road, questions may be asked if his team’s dreadful form continues.

Clark hit back: “Not enough of the players are stepping up to the plate.

“Some of them have been given a chance since Wigan, when it was decided that it was going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to stay in the division.

“I’ve given people opportunities all over the park and some haven’t taken that chance. There’s an unbelievable rebuilding job going to happen.

“It will be easier when we come to the end of the season and I see the retained list. That (list) will be minute compared to the number of players who will be moving on.

“But we’ve got what we’ve got, and we have to get some wins before the season ends.

“We need to start the overhaul and that’s not just on the playing side. There are other things at this football club that we’ve got to change.”