McMahon has hope despite ‘strange’ situation

Tony McMahon in training alongside boss Jose Riga
Tony McMahon in training alongside boss Jose Riga
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Tony McMahon admits life is strange at Blackpool at the moment, but thinks given the right backing Jose Riga will get it right.

The 28-year-old signed a new deal at Bloomfield Road last month after a successful six-month spell at the end of last season.

He’s one of only eight players currently contracted to Blackpool despite a host of trial players arriving at the back end of last week.

And the experienced defender says it’s an odd situation.

“It’s strange at the moment, to say the least,” he admitted. “But all we can do is keep going and just get on with it.

“We are having to work with what we’ve got at the moment and we are all waiting patiently to see some new faces come in.

“It will be nice to get the players in and get going with what the manager wants.

“I suppose it’s a good position for the manager to be in, he has a totally clean slate.

“If he gets the backing of the chairman and is allowed to bring his own players in, then I can see us moving forward.

“It’s strange because one minute we are training with ten, then five trailists turn up.

“But we are just getting on with it and doing what we can.”

It’s been more than a month side Riga took charge at Pool, and it’s been a spell filled with frustration so far.

He’s seen a number of targets slip away and is yet to see his coaching staff put pen-to-paper on deals despite them already having started work.

Riga is refusing to speak publicly about the situation, turning down a number of requests to talk to The Gazette, but McMahon says he’s been anything but quiet with the players.

He said: “It’s the opposite for me, he’s spoken to me quite a lot.

“He’s asked my opinion on things a lot and has bounced a lot off me, which was great.

“I’ve spoken a lot to him and he’s just waiting patiently to get his players in.

“The manager has put some great sessions so far and I’m really enjoying working with him.

“I can see how he wants to play and what he’s trying to do here.

“The playing side of it probably hasn’t start yet as it’s hard to do too much with so many of the squad missing.

“But fitness wise we are well into things now.

“The things we are doing in training are very repetitive and you can see what he’s trying to do.

“I’ve seen an improvement in the lads already.

A number of trial players are training with the Seasiders at the moment, with former midfielder Faris Haroun and ex-Barnsley man Jacob Mellis both looking to earn a contract.

They were joined this morning by former Manchester City forward Abdul Razack, the 21-year-old Ivory Coast international is available on a free transfer.And despite the negativity floating around, McMahon says Blackpool remains an appealing club for players.

“I turned another Championship club down to come back here,” he revealed.

“It’s a big challenge here but it’s a good one and I want to be part of it.

“Hopefully we can build something now.

“If the manager gets his players in there should be a whole new way of playing here.

“The manager decided he wanted me here at the club and I was delighted with that.”