Door open for possible Fergie return

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson
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MICHAEL Appleton hasn’t ruled out a return to Bloomfield Road for Barry Ferguson.

The former captain is currently on loan at neighbours Fleetwood Town, after previous manager Ian Holloway claimed he refused to be named as a substitute.

The 34-year-old joined Mickey Mellon’s side until January earlier this month, and was expected to be free to leave once the transfer window reopens in January.

However, new boss Appleton hopes to talk to Ferguson in the coming days about a possible return.

“I haven’t met him yet, but I’ve texted him and told him I’ll be in touch soon,” he said.

“He played well for Fleetwood last week, I have reports from the game and apparently he did really well.

“I’ll be keeping my eye on that one and seeing where the land lies.

“I think come January we can recall him, and we’ll decide over time on that one. I’ll speak to him soon, and have him watched.

“Everyone’s got a clean slate with me.”

Appleton’s first priority is to trim Pool’s huge first team squad.

Despite having 46 players at the club, the manager only plans to work with 18 to 20 of them at any one time.

He and club secretary Matt Williams are working hard to get as many young players out on loan before Thursday’s emergency loan deadline.

But Appleton is quick to point out he’s not writing these players off.

He said: “It will be difficult for the ones who aren’t out on loan, or who are out of the 18-20 players I’m working with at the minute.

“But they will all get their chance for me to have a good look at them.”

Young full-back Jake Caprice joined Dagenham and Redbridge this week on a month’s loan, with many of the development squad expected to also head out.

Appleton added: “It’s important that players are out on loan if they aren’t going to get games here.

“Over a period of time, between now and January, we’ll try and get the numbers reduced drastically.

“I wanted to get a real healthy feel about the place.”

One thing Appleton is keen to strengthen is the club’s links with Fleetwood Town.

The League Two side already have two Pool loanees, in Ferguson and young striker Tom Barkhuizen.

And the Pool boss admits he’s spoken to Town manager Mickey Mellon about sending more down the Fylde coast.

“A Fleetwood link is ideal for us,” said Appleton.

“They are our neighbours and it helps they have a few quid to spend as well.

“I’ve spoken to Mickey and he’s delighted he has a couple of our players, and he’s interested in another couple.

“I’ll speak to him quite regularly, and we’ll see what we can do.”