It’s time to up our game, says Blackpool boss

Goalscorer Bright Osayi-Samuel
Goalscorer Bright Osayi-Samuel
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Gary Bowyer played down any claims that tomorrow’s crunch home clash with Luton Town is a test of his Blackpool side’s promotion credentials.

The Hatters travel to Bloomfield Road fifth in League Two, two places and just two points above the Seasiders.

Blackpool have been at their best when facing teams at the top of the table on home turf, but with another promotion hopeful standing in their way Bowyer says his players can’t afford to get carried away.

He said: “It’s just another game of football for us. The fact that they’re in a play-off position suggests they’re doing a lot of things right, but it’s all about us and how we go about it.

“We have performed well here against teams in the play-off positions. Notts County were in the play-offs when they arrived, Doncaster and Portsmouth were the same.”

Pool are in a rich vein of form – they have lost just one of their last 11 games and have won the last five at home.

The 2-0 win at Stevenage last weekend lifted them back into the play-off spots but Bowyer insists there is still a lot of work to be done.

He added: “We know we’ve got to up our game from last Saturday and that’s what the players want to do, not just for this game but for the rest of the season.

“The best teams don’t rest on their laurels – they look to get better and that’s exactly what we’ve spoken about.”

Substitutes Bright Osayi-Samuel and Mark Cullen grabbed the crucial goals late on at Stevenage, which Bowyer says provides evidence of Pool’s strength in depth.

The manager insists his whole squad will have to be at their best if the Seasiders are to realise their ambitions this season.

“It was a very good three points,” he said. “To go away from home, get a clean sheet and get two very good goals was very pleasing.

“We had to work hard for it and we had to show a different side to our game.

“I think two substitutes coming off the bench to score is a great reflection of the quality we have got in the squad.

“Both players have been frustrated and they’ve been desperate to get on.

“But at the same time they know that when they come on they’ve got to make things happen.

“So fair play to them – that’s exactly what they did.

“We’ve got players who are desperate to play and that’s really good.”

Bowyer revealed the only doubt for Saturday’s game is midfielder Michael Cain, who is suffering with illness.

Colin Daniel is back in contention, though. He returned to training yesterday, having spent two weeks on the sidelines nursing a hamstring injury.