Terry McPhllips: Pitches top of agenda for my new Blackpool boss Ben Hatton
Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips says his ‘new boss’ Ben Hatton’s priority is getting the club’s Squires Gate training base and the Bloomfield Road pitch up to scratch.
McPhillips and the players met this week with Cooper, who stressed that on the pitch it would be business as usual ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Bristol Rovers.
Blackpool have trained in Preston for a large part of the season but are now back training at Gate.
The state of both the training ground and Bloomfield Road have been ongoing issues under Owen Oyston’s regime.
But now, with a new board in place, McPhillips has stressed that improving them is a priority.
He said: “I had a chat with Ben on Tuesday. There are certain things that need addressing now. Things have to get done.
“I didn’t have a lot of time with him. It was a busy day on Tuesday and everyone wanted a piece of him.
“We did meet and we go from there. I have discussed that (Squires Gate) with Ben as a priority and the Bloomfield Road pitch.
“If we want to play nice football, then playing and training on good pitches is important.”
But McPhillips says no promises has been made.
He said: “The receiver is in to do his job. He is very professional and good so far, and he has told us to keep doing what we are doing.
“They spoke to the players and said pretty much the same. The receiver has not come out and made promises or said, ‘We will do this and that’.
“He is here to put the new board in place and to put Ben in charge, which he has done, and I have to say there is some experience on that board now.
“There are some top people who have experience in football and you would like to think they know what they are doing. They have told us to crack on.”
Natalie Christopher turning up at yesterday’s EFL meeting to represent the club shows the Oyston family are not ready to walk away.
Asked if this will be a time of uncertainty until the club is sold, McPhillips said: “I suppose so. That is what it is.
“But Ben is the new boss, the go-to man. And when we need to go to him we will. It’s so far so good!”
Asked if he had had any contact with the Oyston family since the club entered into receivership, McPhillips confirmed he had not.
He said he was unsure whether the former regime had made any contact with the club but he insisted: “I have not had any communication.”
Uncertainty still looms over a potential 12-point deduction that could hamper his side’s play-off quest.
Asked if the receiver had given any clarification on the likelihood of this penalty, he said: “The clarification is that it will be up the EFL’s discretion in the end and we just have to wait for them to make their mind up.
“It does seem a bit harsh. It is not your normal receivership, where the players have not been getting paid and the club is in a mess financially.
“It is not that sort of receivership, so we are hopeful that it (the deduction) does not happen.”
McPhillips confirmed the players and staff were paid their monthly wages as normal yesterday and remain focused on the task of winning three points on Saturday.
He said: “We have definitely been paid because I checked on my way in. That will be a weight off anyone’s shoulders who was concerned about that.
“We are looking ahead now. The game is the most important thing on Saturday.
“We have five games in two weeks coming up.”