Expectant star’s big wait

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IF Neal Eardley sprints off during the warm-up before Pool play Ipswich tomorrow, you’ll know he’s had the most important call of his life.

The Pool defender’s pregnant fiancée Jessica is expecting the couple’s first child any day.

It means a nervous wait for the 23-year-old to find out whether he will be available for the Bloomfield Road match.

Eardley revealed: “Jessica’s two days over due now. It could be anytime soon.

“It’s my first child, so whatever happens I want to be there. I’ve made the gaffer and all the lads aware of the situation.

“I’m playing the waiting game now, so when it does happen I’ll be off to the hospital.”

The Welshman has made a great start to the season, playing every minute of the wins over Millwall and Leeds.

He said: “Two games, two wins –we couldn’t ask for much more really.

“But on top of the results, the performances have been a different class.

“There are lads who have only just joined the team but it looks like we’ve been together for ages. The performances have been brilliant so far.

“Since I’ve been at Blackpool I’ve not really started a season, so to play in both games has been brilliant.

“Hopefully I can stay in the team and put in performances that will help me keep my place.”

Ipswich come to Saturday’s game in decent form of their own.

They started the season with a credible 1-1 draw against relegated Blackburn before bagging a last-minute winner against Watford on Tuesday. But Eardley is confident Pool are ready to face anyone.

He added: “Bring on anyone at the moment – we are up for the challenge.

“The way we are performing, we are confident we can beat anyone.

“It’s all about performances, and if we keep playing like we have we shouldn’t have any problems.

“This squad is up there with the best we’ve had. The lads we’ve added are quality. You can see we are building and building, and that’s only going to be good for the club.”

Eardley is starting his fourth season at Bloomfield Road since joining in a £200,000 deal from Oldham.

He was one of Ian Holloway’s first signings and has seen the transformation of the whole place, on and off the pitch,

But one thing has remained the same – the team spirit.

He said: “We’ve always thought as a group of players that we have something special at this club.

“Lads who have been here on loan and left have always gone away with nothing but good things to say.

“I think a lot of it is down to the players and the team spirit we have.”