Oyston ready for ten signings

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
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A WEEK on from the Seasiders’ heartbreaking relegation, it is the task of Karl Oyston and Ian Holloway to start rebuilding and to preparing for next season.

A WEEK on from the Seasiders’ heartbreaking relegation, it is the task of Karl Oyston and Ian Holloway to start rebuilding and to preparing for next season.

The two held talks this week and have told each other in which direction they feel the club should go.

The Gazette caught up with Oyston to hear his views on the week that was and what comes next...

Were you fearing the worst going into the Manchester United game?

I wasn’t fearing the worst at all because you never know with us. There was a lot at stake for the manager and the players – not least our well publicised bonus structure – and for the supporters.

I would tend to agree with the manager that we probably missed our chance and lost our way a little bit earlier in the season. I suppose none of us really expected to go to United and win, but we’ve had some surprising results all season so you never knew for sure.

When we were 2-1 up I was hopeful but I knew it was far too soon to start watching the clock.

United are very good and when all their players were being paraded on the podium afterwards I couldn’t see a bad one.

How tricky is it for the club, and for you personally, to dust yourselves down and go again?

It isn’t tricky to dust yourself down. Football is full of knocks and disappointments. You get them throughout the course of a season – each time you lose a match.

This is a bigger one, a much bigger one, but I am not going to allow any staff member here – whatever part of the business he or she is in – to give themselves an excuse not to perform at their optimum level. That isn’t what we are about.

We need to do all we can to get back to what we’ve now had a taste of and try to go back stronger.

In many ways the business is massively stronger, the club is massively stronger, and we’ve got to really build on those strengths and the fact that if we go back to the Premier League we will be so much better prepared in terms of infrastructure and the way we are organised.

The experience we’ve gained stands us in good stead and we’ve just got to keep building the club towards that end, which is where we all want to be – myself, the players and the supporters, everyone.

Did you throw enough money into trying to stay up?

We could have approached life in the Premier League in the usual way – chucked every last penny and then some at staying up and still had exactly the same risk of being relegated.

Then we would have been a basket case for however long until we could find someone to give us tens of millions of pounds.

The problems West Ham and Birmingham have got aren’t problems we face and I think that’s testament to the way we run things.

The manager understands that, doesn’t feel pressured and feels able to work within sensible bounds that don’t put any of us under pressure.

What’s the plan now and how many players will you bring in?

There will be a lot of players coming in, but there is every year.

Every year there are at least five or six at most clubs because that is the norm when you’ve a squad of 25 or so.

Six out, six in is probably modest. That’s certainly been my experience over the years.

I’ve been through the list and we have 18 contracted pros here.

Some of those are young and some haven’t figured too greatly.

I would imagine we’ll maybe lose some of them and we’ll probably get to the stage where we need to bring ten players in, that’s my view.

But I’m not going to limit it to ten. If there are people we feel we can bring in to improve us, we’ll do deals.

But by the same token, I think we’ve learned very good lessons from January that maybe we bought one or two players in that haven’t contributed as we would have wished.

I think we’ve got to watch what we do.

It is probably a better policy to bring in fewer better ones than just bringing people in for the sake of it.

That is certainly something the manager agrees with.

He is keen to condense the target list and maybe try harder or push for the ones he actually wants, rather than settling for those lower down the list.

There has been speculation about the manager’s future – will he stay?

It is a massive disappointment for everybody and I know it is the nature of the beast, but it is probably not the right time for anyone to speak to the press, either myself, Ian or the players.

But we all have to because that is part of the industry and it is not right to cut everyone off, especially when the supporters are injured and fed up.

They rightly want to know what we are going to do and how we are going to try our very hardest to make ourselves stronger from this.

But the probing of the manager’s position is wide of the mark ... unless Ian knows something that I don’t. From our conversations so far, I have no reason to doubt Ian will be here next season.