Pool handed O’Hara boost but Orlandi misses out

Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara
Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara
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Jamie O’Hara will hand Pool a major boost by declaring himself fit for this afternoon’s huge relegation battle against Wigan.

Blackpool’s star man was a major doubt after damaging a rib in Tuesday’s defeat at Brentford but trained through the pain barrier yesterday.

It’s expected he’ll be part of the starting eleven today as Blackpool aim for their first win in six.

That’s an ambition which boss Lee Clark believes has been helped by O’Hara’s return.

“Jamie as a chance of being fit for Saturday which is a huge boost for us,” he said.

“He has a sore ankle but also got a severe impact to the rib area. That seemed to settle down overnight after the game at Brentford.

“The lad himself if confident he will be OK for Saturday which is a big thing for us – to lose him would have been difficult.”

Clark had hoped O’Hara would be joined by Spanish winger Andrea Orlandi who tore a thigh muscle against Nottingham Forest two weeks ago.

But after taking part in light training on Thursday, Clark revealed Orlandi won’t make it.

He said: “When you are missing people like Jamie and Andrea Orlandi it becomes difficult.

“We tried to work with Andrea on Thursday but he’s not going to be ready for Wigan, it’s just too early.

“We probably knew in our heart of hearts but he wanted to give it ago which is credit to him.

“When you have a thigh strain it can be difficult to come back in 12 to 14 days. We thank him for trying to be fit but we understand he won’t be.”

Blackpool are without Charles Dunne who serves the first game of a three match ban today who’s expected to be replaced by Niall Maher.

Maher extended his loan deal from Bolton earlier this week and should be fit to play, while there will be no place for Costa Rican Jose Cubero.

“Niall had a fitness test yesterday and was due to join in with the group this morning,” said Clark.

“Hopefully he’ll be OK for tomorrow.

“Jose Cubero has developed a swollen knee, he didn’t train on Wednesday or yesterday.

“It’s a strange one, we’ll be getting him scanned to see where we go from there.”