Squires Gate pitch battle for boss Terry McPhillips as Blackpool look to leave Preston training base

Demolition of Blackpool FC's training ground on Squires Gate Lane
Demolition of Blackpool FC's training ground on Squires Gate Lane
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Manager Terry McPhillips is annoyed that Blackpool’s Squires Gate training ground is still out of action as he looks to bring his squad home from Preston.

The Seasiders have been using Fulwood Amateurs’ Lightfoot Lane base since pre-season because the playing surface at Squires Gate is unfit.

It was former boss Gary Bowyer who took Pool to the other end of the M55 to train only to resign days into the season.

His successor McPhillips is disappointed that Squires Gate remains unusable and says he is tempted to do the work himself to resolve the long-standing issue.

The Pool boss said: “The aim really is to get back to Squires Gate but it is just not good enough, simple as that. I’ve just been there. It is not good enough unless I am going to go down there and do it myself!

“It is rather annoying I have to say. I’m disappointed and I will push again for something to happen there.

“It would be great to get back to Blackpool. That is where we are from, that is who we are and we are looking.

“On the way from Squires back to Bloomfield we stopped twice to look at pitches. We are hunting for a better surface.

“At Barnet (where Pool trained ahead of Saturday’s win at Southend) the players trained fantastically and it is not rocket science – (it’s because) they played on a lovely pitch.”

McPhillips added that another problem at Fulwood is that the many users are taking a toll on the playing surface.

He added “Fulwood has been great for us but even that is getting tired now.

“To be fair to Fulwood, they do loads of work on the pitches but they have so many games – college teams as well as their own teams playing on them.

“We will have to see what happens there. We are working on looking elsewhere and looking to get Squires up to scratch – but it is not.

“Day to day we will just crack on. We will train somewhere.”

In her only media interview to date as Blackpool chairwoman, Natalie Christopher announced that the training ground was a top priority.

Speaking at the end of August, she said the plan was to “get a few basic things in there” as a short-term measure with a view to the squad returning to Squires Gate “in a month or so”.

She added: “As soon as we are financially settled, this will be the first thing to invest in.”