Mark Cullen tips Blackpool to rise again under new owners

Former Blackpool striker Mark Cullen
Former Blackpool striker Mark Cullen
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Recently departed Blackpool striker Mark Cullen believes the future is bright for his former club.

The 27-year-old was among eight players to be released by the Seasiders following the conclusion of the 2018/19 campaign.

It brought an end to Cullen’s four-year stay at Bloomfield Road, which saw him score 26 times in 108 appearances.

While the free agent won’t play a part in Blackpool’s future, the striker believes there’s no reason why the club cannot get back to where they were at the turn of the decade.

He said: “They need to get some new owners first, don’t they?

“But hopefully that can get resolved and the team can get some help with recruitment to help them push on.

“Everything is there with the club in terms of the stadium and the fans being back so there’s no reason why they can’t push on.

“They only just missed out on the play-offs this season so I’m sure they’ll want to be bettering themselves next season.”

Cullen arrived at Blackpool in 2015 at a time when the club was beset by off-the-field chaos, with the majority of supporters boycotting home matches in protest against the Oystons.

While Cullen admits he regrets not being able to play in front of a packed out Bloomfield Road, he says the uncertainty behind the scenes never got in the way of his own performances.

“If I’m being brutally honest it didn’t really affect me at all,” he said.

“When I signed for the club I knew full well what to expect and we just tried our best, but in that first season we came up short and got relegated to League Two.

“It was a massive disappointment for everyone involved but the whole off-field situation never once affected me.

“If you saw me around the place, I was always bright and bubbly so it never got on top of me. I just enjoyed every game I played.”

Cullen’s last two seasons with Blackpool were blighted with injury problems, which saw him spend the back end of the season on loan at Carlisle United.

“I’m fit now and I was back involved with Carlisle during the last couple of games there, which was good to get back,” he said.

“But it’s part and parcel of football and there’s not much you can do about it apart from get your head down and work hard to get back fit.

“That’s exactly what I’ve done on and off for the last couple of years but I feel fit and healthy now and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen in the future.

“Last season especially was a major blow.

“Having played such a big part in the promotion season, the club was then on the up so to get injured early and to miss the whole season virtually was a major disappointment for me.

“But still, to be part of that team and that squad at the time was great. The manager at the time, Gary Bowyer, was great.

“He stuck beside me and that showed the sort of camaraderie we had in that dressing room.

“We had a great team spirit and just shut off those things that were happening off the football pitch and just got on with our job and focused on enjoying ourselves.”