Seasiders’ system reboot offers alternatives

Gary Bowyer has given the thumbs up to the Seasiders' use of different formations
Gary Bowyer has given the thumbs up to the Seasiders' use of different formations
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Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer says experimenting with two new systems has given him plenty to think about.

The Seasiders made a bright start against Wycombe on Tuesday playing in a diamond formation, despite being knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties.

That came after Pool had come close to causing an upset in their FA Cup third round tie against Barnsley at the weekend, with the Championship outfit being caught out by their 3-5-2 formation.

Bowyer, normally a staunch supporter of 4-4-2, says it offers him some flexibility going forwards.

“I think the diamond worked well and it gave us something different to think about,” he said.

“I just wanted to see it in a game situation and in terms of how it suits some of our players who like passing the ball – and it provided a good opportunity for us to do that.

“And then if you look at the creativity against Barnsley then we created a number of chances, which was a real bonus.”

After two cup games in the space of four days, the Seasiders return to league action against Cambridge United, who sit two places above them.

Pool will look to get back to winning ways after losing 1-0 at home to Mansfield the last time they were in league action – but they are coming up against a side on a hot streak.

Bowyer is looking forward to the task and says it’s one his players should thrive on.

“We’re looking forward to getting back into league action and it’s a great game for us,” he said.

“I think Cambridge under Shaun Derry have done brilliant and they’re a great example of sticking with your manager.

“At the start of the season he had a bit of a tough time through injuries and new players coming into it, but the board backed him because they know how good a manager he is and now you’re seeing the results of that.

“You watch them against Leeds the other night and they gave them a right good scare.

“We know exactly what it’s going to be like on Saturday but it’s all about us. If we stand off Cambridge and let them play then we’ll be in trouble.

“But if we get up to them and close them down quickly and play our game with the ball then we know we will create chances and then it’s about being clinical.”