Vassell fitness a big boost for Blackpool

Kyle Vassell
Kyle Vassell
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Blackpool have been handed a big boost ahead of tomorrow’s play-off semi-final second leg against Luton Town with the news that Kyle Vassell is expected to be fit.

The striker hobbled off midway through the second half of Pool’s 3-2 first-leg win at Bloomfield Road on Sunday and was a doubt for the return game.

That would have been a major blow for Gary Bowyer following Vassell’s impressive performance, even though it was his strike partner Mark Cullen who grabbed all the headlines with a hat-trick against his former club.

But the manager confirmed that Vassell has come through training unscathed and is expected to be available for selection at Kenilworth Road.

“We think he will be OK,” Bowyer said. “We will give him another run out on Wednesday and go from there.

“Jamille (Matt) also comes into contention. He’s trained for three days now.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to start him and expect him to last the full game, but he could certainly make an impact if we need him.”

Matt has been out of action since tearing a hamstring in the 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers a month ago.

Bowyer also revealed that a handful of players who picked up bumps and bruises in the first leg have all trained.

The Seasiders go into tomorrow’s crunch second leg knowing a draw will be enough to send them to the Wembley final against Exeter or Carlisle but Bowyer believes that would be the wrong attitude to take.

He added: “The second leg normally provides pure clarity because everybody knows what they’ve got to do.

“From there it’s just a case of going out and executing that, and we’ve got to be the same as we were on Sunday. We’ve just got to win the game.

“I don’t know how you can play for a draw. All season we’ve gone out to play and to try to win every game of football we play in. Thursday night will be no different for us. We’ve got to go there and take the challenge on.

“It’s only half-time, so we know we have got to approach the second leg in the same manner as we did Sunday’s game.

“Leading into the game I spoke about how we had made progress after facing them in the league and we’ve done that once again. We’ve got to continue that progression into this second leg.

“Both managers and coaches will have watched the game back and identified areas to work on – that’s normal in terms of your preparation.

“We’ve prepared no differently to how we’ve done all season.”

After all the tickets initially put on sale to Luton supporters for tomorrow’s game were sold, the Hatters announced that a further 260 have been made available to home fans.