Michael Appleton gives his verdict on Blackpool's pre-season opener at Southport

Michael Appleton was pleased with what he saw from his Blackpool side during their opening pre-season friendly.

Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 5:55 pm

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The Seasiders eased to a comfortable 2-0 win against National League North side Southport, thanks to first-half goals from CJ Hamilton and Beryly Lubala.

Pool, as is customary during their pre-season opener, fielded two different sides in either half.

“It was good,” Appleton told The Gazette.

“At the end of the day in the first pre-season game there’s certain things you’re looking for. Firstly, that everyone comes through it unscathed with no injuries, which is the most important thing.

“It’s their first 45 minutes under their belt, which is good. It was two different formations and styles in terms of how we went about it in the first-half and second-half, so it was good for me to see where we’re at and where different players are at, so I enjoyed it.”

The Seasiders lined up in a hybrid 4-3-3 system in the first-half, before switching to two up top in the second.

Michael Appleton shakes hands with Southport boss Liam Watson

Despite the change, Appleton dropped a hint he’s likely to stick with the 4-3-3 formation this coming season, as he played with both Oxford United and Lincoln City.

When asked if he has a set system in mind, Pool’s head coach said: “I do and it’s probably similar to what most people have seen over the last six or seven seasons at Oxford and Lincoln.

“But at the end of the day you have to be a team for all seasons and make sure you have a bit of variety and can chop and change when you need to.”