Mick McCarthy addresses Blackpool's favoured system and Josh Bowler's role ahead of Huddersfield Town six-pointer

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Mick McCarthy admits his temporary switch to a back four against Middlesbrough has given him something to think about.
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Mick McCarthy: Crucial games against Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United will...

The veteran boss has lined up in a 3-5-2 system in both of the games he’s taken charge of since replacing Michael Appleton.

To do so, he’s had to play certain players out of position, most notably CJ Hamilton at left wing-back and Josh Bowler in central midfield.

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While trailing 1-0 to Middlesbrough on Saturday, McCarthy opted to switch things up by reverting to a back four and introducing the likes of Morgan Rogers, Ian Poveda and Gary Madine off the bench.

Despite the game ending 3-0, Blackpool carried much more of a goal threat as they threw caution to the wind, coming close to levelling through Jerry Yates seconds before Boro scored their second of the game.

A potential system change could be something McCarthy mulls over ahead of Tuesday night’s crucial six-pointer against relegation rivals Huddersfield Town.

“It gave me something to think about for the next 18 games, not just Tuesday night,” he told The Gazette.

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McCarthy lined up his side in a 3-5-2 formation for the second game running on SaturdayMcCarthy lined up his side in a 3-5-2 formation for the second game running on Saturday
McCarthy lined up his side in a 3-5-2 formation for the second game running on Saturday

“Can we play that way? I’m sure we can because they played that way before. We’ve just signed two centre halves as well which will certainly bolster the defensive side of things.

“It was just for us to take a look at it in that game, just to get a feel for it as much as anything.

“We were also trying to get back in the game by putting forwards on. It didn’t particularly work but we had to try and get something out of the game.”

A sign of confusion for many supporters has been the decision to play Bowler, an out-and-out winger by trade, in a midfield three alongside Tom Trybull and Charlie Patino.

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The 23-year-old has clearly struggled with the more physical, defensive side of the game, traits he doesn’t normally have to contend with while playing out on the wing.

With Kenny Dougall and Sonny Carey a more natural fit in the middle of the park, McCarthy has admitted it’s something he’s keeping an eye on.

“He’s certainly got certain qualities there, but it’s not particularly his position. We’ll just keep monitoring that,” he said.

“We like to get the best out of players and he’s certainly tried to adapt, so we’ll see.”