Karl thinks youth is the key for BFC

Blackpool's Matt Phillips
Blackpool's Matt Phillips
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KARL Oyston believes Blackpool must try to sign young players with bags of potential ahead of next season’s return to the Championship.

The chairman wants manager Ian Holloway to hunt for players in the same bracket as Matty Phillips, brought from Wycombe for a bargain £350,00 last summer.

Phillips was 19 when he signed for the Seasiders and his value has already rocketed.

Oyston said: “If we could go out now and buy 10 Matty Phillips equivalents in the various positions we need, that would be fantastic.

“If we could do that in the next week I’d be a happy man.

“It would give the manager ample time to prepare and get people bedded in.

“I would agree with those who say we should bring in players with potential and then develop them here.”

Oyston and Holloway had a meeting last week, when the manager made it clear he desperately wants to retain out-of-contract trio David Vaughan, Matt Gilks and Stephen Crainey.

Holloway believes that at this stage keeping those players is more important than making signings.

The chairman has agreed to make new, improved offers to all three.

But if they don’t succeed, Oyston says fans shouldn’t be too concerned because money is available to bring in new faces.

He added: “I think it is always a mistake to get fixated on the players we’ve actually already got.

“That is something people tend to do and it is always a mistake because it just plays into the hands of players and agents, and that is the perpetual spiral of football calamity – when clubs have their hands forced to dish out big contracts to existing players.

“Take someone like Matt Gilks, for instance. Without wanting to sound unkind, we didn’t particularly want him.

“We got him as part of a deal with a player (Wes Hoolahan) going to Norwich.

“He (Gilks) was in the reserves there and we didn’t pay a transfer fee. He came in on reasonably modest reserve goalie wages and people are now getting hysterical that we should break the bank to try to keep him.

“It is always worth looking back to where some of these people have come from.

“There are a lot of players who have been released by clubs and we just need to work our very hardest to bring players in who can improve the club.

“We don’t want Gilks, Crainey or Vaughan to go, but look where we got them all from. And what we’ve done in the past we can do again.

“There is no reason why not because we have the ability and finance to do that, when many other clubs don’t.