Terry McPhillips backs Blackpool FC’s players to ignore off-field issues

Blackpool lost the reverse league game with Oxford United in December
Blackpool lost the reverse league game with Oxford United in December
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Terry McPhillips insists this week’s off-the-field events at Bloomfield Road won’t be used as an excuse if his Blackpool side don’t pick up a positive result against Oxford United on Saturday.

The Seasiders play their first home game since being placed into receivership, with Paul Cooper taking official control of the club for the first time yesterday.

While his appointment has been welcomed by the thousands of long-suffering Pool fans, it could spell uncertainty for the players and staff – but McPhillips insists that’s not the case.

“The players are fine, they’ve trained well,” the Pool boss said.

“It won’t be an excuse if we don’t do well this Saturday.

“We’re totally focused on the game and we’ll see what happens.

“We will have another meeting on Friday before we go training and preparing for Oxford, but as I say, I don’t think what has been going on will affect us on the pitch.

“It’s been a good week. We trained well Tuesday, had Wednesday off and it was a lovely day at Squires on Thursday – the best it’s been. The sun was shining, it wasn’t windy and it wasn’t raining and that means you can do more. It was fantastic.”

While Blackpool take on an Oxford side who currently find themselves inside the bottom four in League One, McPhillips believes their league position doesn’t tell the whole story.

“They’ve got some good players and I think they’re in a false position,” he added.

“I watched them at Accrington on Tuesday and they got a couple of injuries themselves. But they’re very good going forward.

“At the start of the second half they were excellent but we’ve got to try and highlight their weaknesses and nullify their strengths.

“They conceded a couple of goals from crosses, but it’s football and you don’t always get what you deserve.

“They started the second half like a house on fire but Accy got the next goal and knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit.

“They’ve got good players to come back and we’re expecting a tough game.”