Nathan Delfouneso warns Blackpool team-mates they will be playing under pressure

Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso is ready for the added expectation on Blackpool's shoulders this season
Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso is ready for the added expectation on Blackpool's shoulders this season
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Nathan Delfouneso says he and his Blackpool teammates have got to be ready for the added pressure that will be placed on their shoulders this coming season.

The arrival of new owner Simon Sadler, the return of Simon Grayson as manager and 5,000 season ticket sales has seen expectations increase at Bloomfield Road.

But Delfouneso says the Pool squad must thrive on the pressure that comes with playing in front of a bigger crowd.

“The new gaffer has come in and everybody is working hard and trying to impress,” the 28-year-old said.

“It’s a fresh start for everybody but you can tell there’s a positive feel around the whole place as well.

“It’s been an interesting summer, probably different to how it’s been for a very long time.

“There’s a lot of optimism around the place, which you can feel around the town, not just the squad.

“There is a positive energy going round which we’re really happy with, but we’ve got to use that and use it to our advantage.

“That probably means there will be a little bit more pressure on us now and a lot more expectation because we’re going to be playing in front of a lot more people. So we’ve got to be ready for that.

“I know what it’s like playing in front of a big crowd at Bloomfield Road so I can’t wait to do it again, but we’re all really excited.”

Delfouneso has made a strong start to pre-season, scoring Blackpool’s opening goal in the midweek 2-0 win at AFC Fylde.

That is the second year running the forward has netted in this fixture at Mill Farm, having bagged a late equaliser this time last summer.

The club stalwart now can’t wait to get going for the season opener against Bristol Rovers and spoke of his excitement at linking up with Grayson.

“I’ve not worked with him before but I’m aware of his work,” Delfouneso said.

“I think there was an occasion where I could have played for him before but it didn’t work out at the time.

“He’s come in and put his imprint on everything and the boys are working hard and we are seeing more and more of his ideas.

“He came in literally the day we went to Scotland so it might not have been the same had the previous boss (Terry McPhillips) still been here.

“But we’ve worked hard and bit by bit he’s getting his ideas across and we’re taking it in.

“I can only see positive things coming from it and we’re all looking forward to the season ahead.”

The Seasiders face a friendly double-header today, as Grayson takes half the squad to Barrow while the remaining players will face Altrincham.