GTF on Blackpool’s ‘massive’ summer

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GARY Taylor-Fletcher insists there is no need for doom and gloom about relegation – as long as the chairman and manager work together to give the club the best possible chance of bouncing back.

Pool kick off in the Championship in August aiming to challenge for promotion.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher

Gary Taylor-Fletcher

Their cause will be helped by £16m worth of parachute payments, and chairman Karl Oyston’s pledge to sign ten new players.

Taylor-Fletcher says the management face “a massive job” to keep the heart of the squad in place and to bring in quality new faces.

But he thinks it can be done – as long as the manager receives the right backing.

“I don’t think we should be all doom and gloom,” he said. “This is a good club with the potential to come back up.

“We did ourselves proud in the Premier League. We proved a lot of people wrong, and that’s why I don’t feel as gutted as I thought I might about getting relegated – I just feel flat and down.

“The gaffer has a massive job this summer to get the squad right.

“Which players will leave we don’t know, and which players come in we don’t know. The gaffer is going to be very busy.

“We had a meeting after the player of the season do last Monday and the manager has given us assurances that, as long as everything is done right by the chairman, he will be here.

“It is not what we say, it is all on what the chairman does. And if he does the right things, then the manager will be here and a lot of the players will be here.

“When it comes to new players, we will wait and see whether we have the players in come the first day of pre-season or whether it will be a week before the start of the season.

“Hopefully, it will be the former, and the chairman will have learned from last year and we’ll get all the players in early enough and get to know them.”

Taylor-Fletcher did as much as anyone else to try to keep Pool in the Premier League, producing a string of impressive displays and proving he was more than capable of playing at the top level.

He is confident the club will do well next season, though he can’t help but be concerned about who will be in the dressing room.

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t bounce back next season but it is important to retain the heart of the team,” he said.

“If we don’t, it is going to be an unbelievably sad experience because we’ve been through a lot together.

“At the moment it feels a bit like the end of an era.

“The players at the heart of this club who moved on last year (Ben Burgess) and the ones that will go this summer ... there are not that many of us left.

“But we’ve got to step up to the plate, and we’ve got to try to get the players who do come in round to our way of thinking, our way of acting. If we can do that, then that era might just go on for a little bit longer.

“However, mainly we need to try to keep what we’ve got. There is a magnificent set of lads still at the club.

“I know that we are trying all we can to keep the players like David Vaughan.

“Will Charlie go? Will the chairman keep him for a year and let him leave on a free? Will he take £8m or try and get £40m?

“So there are all these things that the chairman and the manager will be weighing up and all we can do is welcome the new lads.”