Ince ban to add to Pool’s shortage

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Blackpool’s search for new signings has become urgent, with Tom Ince set to be banned for the next two games.

The FA have charged the winger with disrepute over an alleged offensive gesture towards a match official in the 24th minute of Monday’s Capital One Cup defeat at Preston.

Blackpool's Thomas Ince

Blackpool's Thomas Ince

The incident was missed by match officials but was caught on video.

Blackpool are today considering whether to appeal the charge and have until 6pm to do so.

If found guilty, Ince will be handed an instant two-match ban and will miss Saturday’s home game against Barnsley and the trip to Middlesbrough a week later.

Manager Paul Ince has once again stressed the urgent need to add to his squad at Bloomfield Road.

The chronic lack of numbers meant Ince was forced to select virtually the same side twice in three days against Doncaster and Preston, and he had few options to change either game from the bench.

And now further player recruitment is a matter of emergency for the Blackpool boss.

Ince said: “It’s always been at the very front for us. As much as we’ve focused on Doncaster and Preston, I was always focusing on recruitment.

“As much as the games are important, we need to get players into the club.

“We need players. We have kids on our bench and in our squad, and that’s the issue we need to resolve as soon as possible.

“That’s what we have to work on and get sorted out.”

Pool’s players return to training today after a day off and are awaiting news on the fitness of midfielder Angel Martinez, who picked up a groin injury on Monday as did Tom Ince.

Pool are desperate to have the midfielder fit in the likely absence of both of their star wingers, Ince and Matt Phillips, who faces a further month out after breaking an arm.

Boss Ince added: “You could see how short we are. We played two high-intensity games in three days.

“While you’d like to maybe chop and change five or six, we have had to pretty much play the same side.

“It just shows how weak we are as a squad in terms of depth.

“We’ve been saying this about the squad for ages.

“It’s easy to lose on Monday night and start blaming a lack of players.

“But I’ve been saying this since we came back from Portugal. When we want to freshen things up or change personnel, we can’t.

“We need players in as quickly as possible. Monday night highlighted it again.”

Unlike last season, when many young players were brought in with an eye to the future, Ince wants signings who can come in and directly influence his first-team squad immediately.

He said: “There are 45 games to go and it’s a long season, so we need a bigger group of players to give me options.

“We are looking for people who will make an impact and make a difference to my team.

“We have some tough games, so we need to get working on players as soon as possible.”