Blackpool defender Clark Robertson believes the Seasiders aren’t far from being a top-six side in League One.
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Pool defied the bookies’ odds to finish 12th, having started the campaign as favourites for the drop.
The Seasiders finished 11 points outside the play-offs but out-of-contract Robertson, who is yet to decide on his future, thinks Blackpool can compete at the top end next season.
The Scot said: “After coming up from League Two I think we would have been the favourites to go straight back down.
“But we finished 12th and were only a few wins away from the play-offs. To be honest, we probably should have got closer.
“We could have done that had we had other players fit, like Vass (Kyle Vassell) and Cully (Mark Cullen), who were out for most of the season.
“When you think about it, we’ve more than held our own in this league.
“If we can keep the current group together and add a few more, then I think that group of players can definitely challenge for the top six next season.
“We went through a bad patch midway through the season, when we weren’t quite consistent enough.
“But if we were to have another crack at it next season with the squad that finished this season, then I think we’d be more than capable of challenging for the top six.
“We’ve got a tight-knit squad, one that Gary Bowyer has built.
“Everyone gets on well and that team spirit goes a long way.
“I think that was shown in the last few weeks of the season.
“You look back to when we were beaten twice over Easter – a lot of people were tipping us to get pulled into a relegation battle but we really stepped up to the plate.”
Robertson has enjoyed a fine campaign alongside defensive partner Curtis Tilt, who also produced a string of impressive displays.
Tilt, who signed from Wrexham last summer, has made the step up from non-league look easy, according to Robertson.
“Tilt has been different class to play alongside,” the Scot added. “He’s made the step up from non-league quite easily to be fair to him.
“He’s been one of our stand-out performers this season and I think we compliment each other really well.
“He’s quick, he’s strong and he’s aggressive but he can also play as well.
“I think he’s got the potential to play at a higher level, so it’s been great to play alongside him.”