Seasiders’ chief executive hails Bowyer’s work

Gary Bowyer has been hailed for his work on and off the field at Bloomfield Road
Gary Bowyer has been hailed for his work on and off the field at Bloomfield Road
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Blackpool chief executive Alex Cowdy has praised manager Gary Bowyer for creating a positive mentality at the club.

Bowyer arrived at Bloomfield Road in June of last year to a club that was in turmoil both on and off the pitch, having just suffered the second of back-to-back relegations.

But the former Blackburn Rovers man has engineered an instant return to the third tier of English football after masterminding a seventh place finish in League Two - before a 2-1 win against Exeter City in the play-off final clinched promotion.

Cowdy says a lot of hard work has gone in away from the pitch to get the club pointing in the right direction, but insists Bowyer and his players deserve the most credit.

He said: “It’s obviously been well documented about the fans’ boycott but internally, we feel we have stabilised the club and Gary on the coaching side and hopefully me on the staffing side have helped with that.

“We’ve all come together and the players are a great group and they’ve shown that fighting spirit all season.

“At the start of the season in the back of my mind I was thinking I want us to go back up, but after two successive relegations it was important to stabilise the club and Gary did that.

“He sat down the players at the start of the season and some of those players were here last season while Tom Aldred had suffered two relegations.

“He basically said ‘look, we have to forget about what has happened in the past’ and he’s helped build that positive mentality.

“We had a few hiccups at the start of the season but as the players got to know each other better that mentality grew and grew and grew and look where it’s led us.”

Blackpool’s route to the final wasn’t an easy one, with the club slipping as far down as 15th with just a few months of the season remaining.

But the club embarked on an impressive run of results in March before getting over the line with a 3-1 win against Leyton Orient on the last day of the season.

“It was just a fantastic day at Wembley,” Cowdy added. “Gary, the players and the staff have worked so hard this season.

“After the Luton game back in February I think we were 14th, but then we managed to go on that run at the end of the season.

“Then there were a fantastic two legs in the play-off semi-finals against Luton and we held on in the final with some backs against the wall defending. But we had a few breakaways where we could have scored more.”