With the international break at an end, Blackpool are beginning their preparations in earnest for Saturday’s trip to Walsall
Gary Bowyer’s players had the weekend off after their scheduled opponents, Blackburn Rovers, had three players called up by their respective countries.
After a promising opening two months on their return to League One, the Seasiders are without a win in their last three league outings following the defeats at Bristol Rovers and Southend United and home draw against Rochdale.
That minor blip, coupled with results elsewhere at the weekend, sees Bowyer’s players go into the weekend 11th in the table, albeit only three points behind fourth-placed Rotherham United.
While happy with how his players have acquitted themselves back in the third tier, Bowyer has warned them that the hard work will continue.
“There is still a lot to work on,” the manager said.
“We have not done badly but we have to do better.
“We’ve had to take the Southend result through for two weeks, which doesn’t sit right but we will work hard for the next game against Walsall.”
Saturday’s trip to the Banks’s Stadium could see new arrival Jay Spearing feature for the first time since completing his move to the Seasiders.
The former Liverpool midfielder is someone Bowyer knows well from his time at Blackburn Rovers and had success in League One last season, when helping Bolton Wanderers gain promotion to the Championship.
The 28-year-old would also add some much-needed knowhow to Blackpool’s midfield, something Bowyer admits is lacking.
Of the side beaten at Southend United last time out, the Seasiders’ three-man central midfielder saw skipper Jimmy Ryan as the old man of the side at the age of 29.
Sessi D’Almeida (21) and Nick Longstaff (19) were his colleagues in the middle before Callum Cooke (20) came off the bench.
Viv Solomon-Otabor (21) is another of the youngsters on Blackpool’s books, and while Bowyer’s faith in youth has largely been rewarded this season, the manager admitted there have been times when an older head would have been useful.
“I think you saw at Southend that a little bit more experience at certain times in the game would help us massively,” he said.
Blackpool’s Under-18s exited the Youth Alliance Cup when they were beaten 1-0 by Tranmere Rovers.
The two sides had gone into their group meeting knowing that the winners would be assured of a place in the next stage of the competition.
Rowan Roache and Fin Sinclair-Smith were both denied by the Tranmere keeper before the only goal came when Josh Solomon-Davies beat keeper Harvey Simson.