'The offer came right out of the blue': Stuart McCall admits opportunity to join Blackpool was too good to turn down

Stuart McCall has revealed he wasn’t actively looking to get back into football - but the opportunity to join Blackpool’s coaching staff was too good to turn down.

Sunday, 25th July 2021, 10:00 am

Read More

Read More
Carlisle United 0-1 Blackpool: Demetri Mitchell continues his impressive pre-sea...

Stuart McCall has revealed he wasn’t actively looking to get back into football - but the opportunity to join Blackpool’s coaching staff was too good to turn down.

The 57-year-old has been out of work since December 2020, when he was sacked by his beloved Bradford City - ending his third stint in the managerial hotseat.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Since then, the former Everton and Scotland international has been keeping himself busy with media work.

But once the Seasiders approached McCall to discuss the prospect of him taking the assistant head coach role recently vacated by Colin Calderwood, McCall jumped at the opportunity.

“I took a bit of time out after leaving Bradford,” McCall explained.

“I went back to Scotland and did a bit of media work there, covering the Euros stuff. I’ve got a good face for radio as you can see.

McCall is Blackpool's new assistant head coach

“This offer came right out of the blue. I don’t know the gaffer or any of the staff, other than Steve Banks who I know well.

“I wasn’t looking desperately to get back in, looking for jobs or anything like that. It was the first offer that came.

“I came down to the club, spoke to the manager and things went well and positive, so I’m absolutely delighted to be here.”

McCall added: “I came over for an hour, but it ended up being three hours so you can tell how the football chat went. We discussed a lot of things.

“We certainly have a lot of things in common, like key principles and how the game should be played.

“Sometimes you can kid yourself and get victories where you’ve scraped through and you’ve not been very good, but if you can see an end product that’s looking positive - it’s all about winning, we know that, because it’s a results-driven industry - but if you can see progress on the training ground, people taking ideas on and being brave and sticking to what you believe in...that’s obviously what Neil, his staff and the players did last season.”

While McCall hasn’t worked with any of the current Blackpool squad before, there are players who have piqued his interest previously.

“I was interested in a few players during my time at Bradford that Blackpool were trying to get, so we were going for a similar type of player,” he revealed.

“Jordan Gabriel was one I tried to get.

“It was a really good, positive chat with Neil though and I came away from it thinking I can see myself enjoying this and thankfully Neil thought the same. We finally got it tied up.

“I’m just delighted to be here and I’m looking forward to being in the Championship. The quality of player in training is obviously slightly higher than what I’ve been used to in recent times.

“It’s all positive and that’s what we’ve got to be. We’re well aware there will be times in the season where everything is not on a high, but the players showed last season they can come through adversity.

“That might be the case this season, because you look at some of the teams in the division, there’s naturally going to be times where you go a few games without a victory.

“Likewise, if you believe in yourself and you believe in the group, there will be times we string some good victories together.

“We will see where it takes us, but it will certainly be a challenging, exciting season.”

While Critchley and the club will have done their homework on McCall, the same is also true for McCall of Pool’s head coach.

“I looked into him a little bit before I came down to speak to him. I obviously know his background though from Liverpool,” McCall said.

“I had kept in quite close contact with Banksy, who I always had a good relationship with while he worked for me at Bradford.

“Even though the season started slowly last season, and Banksy is a guy that will tell you how it is, he always said the football for the majority of those early games was decent, the results just wouldn’t come. That can happen in football.

“But there was always a belief and confidence and once the results began to turn and confidence came, the manager stuck to principles and remained brave in what he wanted to do.

“He’s got off to a fantastic start, a promotion in his first season on your CV isn’t bad is it? But he won’t rest on his laurels, he’ll want to improve and carry the club forward.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here