Terry McPhillips believes Blackpool’s players should relish big crowds

Terry McPhillips has accepted it’s possible “one or two” of his Blackpool players might have been mentally affected by the club’s recent changes away from the pitch.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 10:30 am
Blackpool's manager Terry McPhillips
Blackpool's manager Terry McPhillips

In recent years the Seasiders have become accustomed to playing in front of crowds as low as 2,000 or 3,000 at Bloomfield Road.

But, with the boycott lifted, 15,000 fans crammed into the stadium for the homecoming clash against Southend United earlier this month.

Since then, Pool have yet to win a game, drawing two before losing heavily at Burton Albion last weekend.

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“It’s been some ride, it’s been a rollercoaster of a season we’ve had and maybe it affects one or two, I don’t know,” McPhillips said.

“It should be a real positive, shouldn’t it? That’s the only way I look at the fans coming back with huge smiles on their faces.

“But it might affect one or two a bit differently but I wouldn’t use that as an excuse.”

A potential 12-point deduction also continues to hang over the club, with a decision expected to be made by the EFL at the end of the month.

That would throw the Seasiders into a relegation battle, but McPhillips hopes it isn’t something the players are currently worrying about.

“I’d like to think it’s not playing on the players’ minds because there’s not a lot we can do about it,” the Pool boss added.

“But it would be nice to accumulate as many points as we possibly can and as quickly as we can, so if it did happen it wouldn’t affect us.

“But we’re not daft; if you do the maths, if the deduction was applied, we’d be in the bottom four.”

Pool return to action at Bradford City today, looking to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s dismal 3-0 defeat at Burton.

When asked if his players owe the fans a performance, McPhillips replied: “Maybe, but if you go through the season it’s not often the lads have underperformed. But it’s fair to say they did last week and at Bristol Rovers.

“But you just never know in football what will happen. But it’s fair to say I’m really optimistic that we’ll put on a good show. Knowing these lads, they’ll give it a right good go.

“Somehow we’re still in there with a chance of the play-offs. Who knows? Everyone is playing each other.

“There were lots of negatives at Burton last week but the positive for us going forward is that these lads normally bounce back.

“They pull their sleeves up when the going gets tough and that’s what I’m expecting now.”