Ex-Derby County and Huddersfield Town man still keen to contribute for Blackpool even when sidelined

Richard Keogh believes he’s at the stage of his career where he can still offer something for Blackpool even when he’s out injured.

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The defender should be closing in on a return for the Seasiders having been sidelined with a calf injury since the draw against Coventry City at the start of February.

Blackpool’s rare two-and-a-half week break will have come at the perfect time for the former Derby County man, who will be hoping to renew acquaintances with East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

But even when Keogh isn’t able to play his part on the pitch, the 35-year-old feels he still has plenty to offer - and his boss Neil Critchley certainly agrees.

“It’s great for me to be around the lads as much as possible and being around it as a senior player and helping the manager when I can,” Keogh told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“I’d love to be out there playing, of course, but the lads have been doing well and we’ve produced some good performances in recent weeks.

“It’s tough watching, I must admit, when you’re watching it more as a fan I guess. When you’re on the pitch you feel like you can control things a little bit more.

Keogh is hoping to be back from injury this weekend

“When you see certain actions, it can be a bit scary but it’s nice to see it from a different angle.

“I often come down at half-time and help in any way I can with little things I’ve seen and the gaffer encourages that, so I’m just trying to make best use of myself as possible.”

Keogh previously stated he hoped to be back available for selection on Blackpool’s return from the international break.

The Seasiders will need as many players available to them as possible for what is a hectic month of April, with eight months on the horizon next month.

April certainly kicks off with a bang, as Critchley’s men have back-to-back Lancashire derbies to look forward to against Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers respectively after this weekend’s home game.

Blackpool face a Forest side that are ninth in the table under Steve Cooper and six points ahead of them.