Ince wants to add bite back to midfield

Chris Basham
Chris Basham
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Paul Ince is excited to see an injection of physical presence into his Blackpool side ahead of the trip to Birmingham City.

Tough-tackling duo Chris Basham and Isaiah Osbourne are both available for the clash at St Andrews, with the added bonus that Barry Ferguson is also back in training.

Pool’s midfield looked a little lightweight for the defeat against Ipswich two weeks ago, something which Ince is keen to change.

“Against Ipswich we were a little weak,” he said.

“When I say weak I mean in terms of physical presence, there wasn’t much physicality.

“We like to have real physical presence.

“I know as a midfield player myself just how important it is to win the midfield battle.

“That’s not saying the lads who played against Ipswich aren’t quality players, because they are.

“But if you look at how McGoldrick drifted through our midfield against Ipswich, let me tell you now if Ferguson, Basham or Osbourne was in there he doesn’t get past and they don’t score that goal.”

Pool make the trip to the Midlands with 19 fit players today, but once again without boss Ince who serves the last of his five-match stadium ban.

Striker Nathan Delfouneso is also in contention but the Seasiders do have problems at the back, with Jack Robinson (suspended), Bradley Orr (thigh) and Craig Cathcart (knee) all missing.

Ince added: “We are still massively stretched.

“We are lucky to have Neal Bishop and Basham who can play in the back four, but we don’t want to keep doing that.

“Ideally we want two players for each position and we haven’t got that at the moment.

“We need to try and get some players in before the loan window closes.”

One area which won’t be a problem for Blackpool is in goal, after Matt Gilks declared himself fit for tomorrow’s game.

There had been fears after he pulled out of Scotland’s game against Norway on Tuesday with a damaged shoulder.

“It was a strange one as he was hoping to play for Scotland on Tuesday but it didn’t settle down,” Ince explained.

“It could only happen at Blackpool that we only have one goalkeeper.

“Fortunately Gilks is OK, but if something was to happen to him during a game then we’d have to put Tony Warner in. We just have to get on with it.”