Irish star among seven new faces at Pool

Darren O'Dae
Darren O'Dae
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Irish international Darren O’Dea is one of seven players Lee Clark is running the rule over at Blackpool.

The new Pool manager is looking to rebuild his squad and has a host of trial players in training.

Those who played in an in-house game at Bloomfield Road this week included five unattached players and two potential loans. The Gazette understands at least four of the seven have recent Premier League experience.

One whose identity has been confirmed is former Celtic defender O’Dea.

The 27-year-old, capped 20 times by the Republic of Ireland, left his latest club Metalurh Donetsk in August due to the trouble in Ukraine.

He previously spent six years at Celtic and had loan spells at Reading, Ipswich and Leeds, for whom he was sent off in a defeat at Bloomfield Road in August 2012.

O’Dea has trained with the Seasiders all week and is expected to play in tomorrow’s behind-closed-doors game against Wigan.

Clark knows he has to make quick decisions in his squad rebuilding quest. The Pool boss said: “There are potential signings in the pipeline and we have to look at it.

“We will try our best to get new players into the club. It’s been hectic and there’s been a lot to do.

“We’ve wanted to get enough time with the players to try to get results, and there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes.

“It’s 24/7 at the moment but that’s why I love the job. It’s what I want to do.”

There is no extra time off for the Pool players during this international break. Indeed, they have been doing double training sessions for most of this week.

After tomorrow’s match, Pool will play another behind-closed-doors game against Manchester City next Tuesday as Clark strives to give his players vital game-time.

The manager added: “These couple of weeks are a little bit different but I’m excited.

“It’s like having a blank canvas here, but crucially we have to work to get enough points to keep this club in the division.

“That has to be our ultimate goal.

“It’s going to be a huge ask but I knew that when I took the job. If we can stay up it will be unbelievable.”