Normality is key for down to earth Bowyer

Pool boss Gary Bowyer
Pool boss Gary Bowyer
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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer says his players have to treat tomorrow’s Wembley final just like any normal game.

For many of those in the Blackpool squad, it will be their first experience of playing under the iconic arch, while Bowyer himself has never managed a team there before.

But the Pool boss insists they must treat everything like normal when it comes to pre-match preparation, with all attention focused on the 90 minutes of football that will decide their fate.

He said: “We know the stadium and its history, but we’ve spoken to the players this week in terms of preparing them for everything they’re going to come across before the game starts.

“When the game starts, then it’s the same kind of pitch you play on week in, week out. There’s a goal at either end.

“We’re aware it’s a big pitch and we’ve done our homework on everything in terms of our preparation, so it’s been put into our plan.

“We’ll be travelling there early, getting down there and resting up in the hotel, and then cracking on with the game on Sunday.

“We will just go through the same routine. We’ll have breakfast, they’ll chill in their rooms, we’ll have the pre-match meal, have our last team meeting and then get on the bus.

“This week we’ve done nothing different at all apart from the stuff off the pitch, which you have got to do.

“That’s stuff like sorting tickets for the families, which has taken quite a long time to do but it’s all been boxed off now. The whole focus is now just the football.”

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This will be Blackpool’s ninth visit to Wembley, a stadium that has been kind to the club in the past.

They are looking to capture another piece of history this weekend knowing that, should they win, they will become the most successful side in play-off history.

“I can’t wait, it’s brilliant,” Bowyer added. “I was talking with Andy Taylor and we were like two kids in a sweet shop, saying how great it will be.

“But in all seriousness, it’s about work and going there to try and get the result.”

With both semi-finals finishing 6-5 on aggregate, Bowyer wouldn’t be surprised to see another high-scoring game.

He said: “I think with the two teams you’ve got and the brand of football they try to play, I think it’s inevitable there are going to be opportunities.

“But you never know in these play-offs. Who would have predicted 6-5 in both semi-final ties?

“We know exactly how difficult it is going to be on Sunday because they’re the favourites. They finished above us in the league.”