Blackpool called on the most unlikely of helpers as new boy Andy Little aims to fire their season back on track.
After crashing back into the relegation zone last weekend, manager Neil McDonald has turned to arch-rivals Preston to loan the 26-year-old striker.
Little, who has been capped eight times by Northern Ireland, moved to Deepdale in summer last year after firing 34 goals in 48 appearances for Scottish giants Rangers.
But things haven’t quite worked out for Little as yet in England – having made only 16 Lilywhites appearances last season, he has not played at all this term.
Now he hopes the move to Pool can kick-start his career in English football. “Hopefully I can get my season back on track and get Blackpool’s back on track as well,” he said.
“This is a fresh start for me. I’ve had a frustrating season – I’m fit and champing at the bit.
“Hopefully this gives me an opportunity to help the boys out and climb the table”.
Having joined Rangers’ academy in 2006, Little made his senior debut three years later and became a first-team regular following their controversial relegation to Division Three in 2012.
His 25 goals in 36 games played a major part in their title win 12 months later, though he managed just five at the higher level the following season. His 16 Preston appearances have yielded two goals but the striker insists there are more to come at Blackpool.
He said: “I don’t feel I’ve done myself justice since I came down. It was great to be part of a promotion-winning team last season but I don’t feel I’ve shown what I can do.
“I have to show the manager I am good enough to get into this team, then show the fans I’m good enough. It’s a big season for me and it hasn’t started so well.”
Little’s loan runs until January, though it is understood the possibility of extending the deal has already been discussed. He joined his new team-mates at a windswept Squires Gate training ground yesterday, saying he plans to contribute workrate as well as goals.
“I enjoyed meeting the lads and training went well,” he said. “I’d like to think I’m hardworking and get around the pitch. I’ve also been able to put the ball in the back of the net, so I hope to work really hard for the team and add a couple of goals.
“I’ve played with Martin Paterson for Northern Ireland. Otherwise it’s all new faces and a bit like the first day at school.
“Everyone has been really good with me. It was windy but it was a great tempo. I haven’t been involved at Preston enough, so it’s been good.”
Little will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Southend and says he’s ready to start, if selected. “I’d like to think I can get involved at Southend at the weekend,” he said. “If needed I’m ready to go. I can’t wait.”