Jay Spearing challenges Blackpool to push for the play-offs next season
A top-six finish has to be the aim for Blackpool next season says captain Jay Spearing after the Seasiders came up short this year.
The 30-year-old was the first Blackpool player to signal the club’s play-off ambition at the start of the campaign – but the Seasiders finished in 10th place, 11 points off the play-off spots after a poor run at the end of the season.
It has still been a campaign of progress, Pool finishing two places higher than in their first season back in League One.
Spearing said: “I’m very disappointed we couldn’t make it into the play-offs.
“I said from the start I felt we were good enough to do it, but we’ve let ourselves down on a few silly goals and set-piece scenarios which we should have dealt with a lot better. There have also been a few late goals which killed us.
“But with everything that has been chucked at the lads, on the field and off, it’s been an outstanding achievement to have a top-10 finish.
“We’ve set a milestone now and we need to kick on. It’s going to be a big summer ahead, with a few changes here and there, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“The top six has to be the aim now. We’ve had two top-12 finishes and if we can get the right recruitment during the summer, then it can only take us forward, fingers crossed.”
Pool’s main issue this season has been their shyness in front of goal, the Seasiders notching just 50 times in 46 games.
That record was bettered by two of the relegated clubs, while Terry McPhillips’ side failed to find the net in 18 league games.
Spearing, who was a virtual ever-present with 49 appearances, says it’s clear where the club needs to improve this summer.
“We can probably say the same thing about last year as well because we didn’t get the ball in the back enough then either,” the midfielder said.
“There were quite a few games throughout the season when we were 1-0 up and should have killed the game off with a second or a third.
“But that’s when we’ve conceded those late goals and picked up a point instead of three, and I think that’s what has let us down this year.
“But overall the lads have been outstanding and they’ve worked their socks off all year.”