Terry McPhillips: Blackpool players gave best reaction to relegation rumours

Terry McPhillips and assistant Gary Brabin celebrate Blackpool's win at Portsmouth
Terry McPhillips and assistant Gary Brabin celebrate Blackpool's win at Portsmouth

Terry McPhillips admits that Blackpool’s relegation odds being slashed the night before they played the league leaders did get a response from his players.

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An online betting website claimed a “tidal wave of bets” had been placed on the Seasiders going down ahead of their 1-0 win at Portsmouth on Saturday.

The claim appeared to be based on very little other than the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust column in Friday’s Gazette, which speculated that a 12-point deduction could be a possibility were Valeri Belokon to appoint a Court Receiver to run the club.

Blackpool’s win at Pompey leaves them ninth in League One, 11 points clear of the bottom four.

Manager McPhillips said: “I don’t know what our odds are now for relegation but they should be a little longer, despite getting slashed on the Friday after some rumours.

“What do I know? I don’t know but I think anyone can put something on the internet these days and get a response from it.

“It did get a response because the players were like, ‘What’s going on?’ But we just crack on and concentrate on the football. That’s what we did at Portsmouth and luckily got the result.

“We put up with some stuff and we get some stick. Fans don’t turn up and then you come to a place like this and there are nearly 20,000, but we just get on with it.

“We didn’t win because of rumours the players heard – it’s because they’re a good group who stick together and back each other up.”

McPhillips confirmed Steve Davies had left the club after the striker’s contract came to an end at the weekend. The 31-year-old made just four appearances in his second stint at the club, having signed a short-term deal in October.

Davies was eligible to play at Portsmouth but wasn’t selected and didn’t travel with the squad.

Davies has been linked with a move to Scotland but won’t be offered a new Pool deal.

McPhillips said: “We wish him all the best. He’s been a great lad. He’s just been unlucky it never fell for him. The injuries (within the squad) probably came too late for Steve.

“I believe he’s got another club sorted out, so all the best to him for the future.”

Despite last week’s signing of Chris Long, their matchwinner at Fratton Park, McPhillips insists the Seasiders are still in the market for a striker.

Asked if another forward would be brought in, the Pool boss added: “I hope so. We want to and we’re working on it.

“We’ve got Longy, we’ve got Nya (Kirby) but we think another striker would help us in the short-term, while we’re waiting for Joe (Dodoo), Cully (Mark Cullen) and Max (Clayton to recover from injuries).”

McPhillips confirmed that striker could be Newcastle United’s Elias Sorensen, who Blackpool were linked with last week.

“We are interested in him, yes, but so are a number of other clubs, so we won’t get too excited about that unless it happens,” he explained.