Gary Bowyer ready for 'weird' reunion with Blackpool
Former Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer admits it will be a surreal experience in the opposing dugout this weekend.
SEE MORE: Bowyer's Blackpool reign in picturesBowyer will be reunited with the Seasiders for the first time since his surprise resignation just one game into the season.
The 47-year-old, who guided Pool back to League One at the first attempt, is now tasked with keeping bottom club Bradford City in the third tier.
The Bantams welcome Blackpool to Valley Parade on Saturday searching for a vital victory in their bid to reduce the six-point gap to safety.
“It will be totally weird, won’t it?” Bowyer told The Gazette, when asked for his feelings on facing his former club.
“I had two fantastic years there. I had a fantastic time leading the club to Wembley, a memory that will stay with me forever.
“When you’re a player you always want to score the winner in a cup final and when you’re a manager you want to lead your team out and win, that’s always the dream.
“I was fortunate to do that and that was a credit to the staff at the time and to the players.
“The rebuilding continued by bringing in the players we did and having a top-half finish in our first year back.
“We had a bit of a dodgy run over the Christmas period but I think a lot of that was down to injuries – Mark Cullen and Kyle Vassell were missing – and we never had the biggest of budgets in comparison to the rest of the league, so that saw us suffer a bit.”
While Bowyer is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with some old faces, the Bantams boss says it will be all about the three points once the whistle blows for kick-off.
“I always had a good relationship with the Blackpool supporters. It will be great to say hello to those who travel over,” he added.
“But then once 3pm comes, my affection for the club will have to go on hold for 90 minutes because we need the points.
“But I will always look back on my time there with great memories.
“I was able to meet some good people and make some good friends. Many are still there now and not just on the football side.
“There are people like Cecilia in the restaurant, Sarah in the club shop and all those staff. There are so many more who made my time there so enjoyable.
“Then obviously to meet the late, great Sir Jimmy Armfield – it should have been Sir Jimmy. It was an honour to have met him and spent so much time in his company.”
On the job former colleague Terry McPhillips has done since his departure, Bowyer added: “It’s never an easy gig taking over as a caretaker. I know that myself but you only have to look at how well he did and how well he’s continued to do.”