Vital summer ahead for Blackpool warns Bowyer

Kyle Vassell will miss Blackpool's final game of the season with a hamstring injury
Kyle Vassell will miss Blackpool's final game of the season with a hamstring injury
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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer believes the club now has solid foundations in place but warns they must be built upon this summer.

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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer believes the club now has solid foundations in place but warns they must be built upon this summer.

When Bowyer arrived at Bloomfield Road in June 2016, the Seasiders had suffered back-to-back relegations and tumbled down to League Two.

Beset by off-the-field problems that continue to this day, Bowyer managed to do the unthinkable and return Pool to the third tier at the first attempt.

They didn’t stop there and produced another successful campaign on the pitch to guarantee League One football next season.

While Bowyer is delighted with the club’s progress, on the field at least, he admits a big summer could go a long way towards deciding their future.

He said: “It’s definitely been a long, hard season because we had success in the play-offs last year.

“We stopped the rot last year and bounced back straight away. We’ve built solid foundations. Now it’s going to be an important summer for us to build on those foundations.

“We wanted to get back to League One as quickly as we could and we did that at the first attempt. Then it was down to us to continue that, but to have the season we’ve had there’s a lot of pride.

“The players deserve an enormous amount of credit. In my time here I don’t think they’ve had the credit they’ve deserved, even winning at Wembley, because there was always something else overshadowing it.

“I feel sorry for the players a little bit that they haven’t got all the plaudits that, in my opinion, they should have been given.”

Blackpool will be without strikers Kyle Vassell and Armand Gnanduillet for the last game of the season at Rotherham United tomorrow (5.30pm kick-off).

Vassell picked up a hamstring strain during last Saturday’s warm-up, while Gnanduillet sustained a similar injury during the 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury.

Blackpool are unbeaten in five games, winning four of them. But despite their superb end to the season Bowyer was overlooked for April’s manager of the month shortlist.

Asked if he was annoyed not to be included, Bowyer said: “No, not really. What did we get? 13 points.

“But you know me, I’m not one for these awards. I think the whole thing – player of the month and manager of the month – is a waste of time.”

Nathan Delfouneso was shortlisted for player of the month but also missed out.

The forward, who scored five goals in as many games last month, was beaten to the gong by Wigan Athletic’s Will Grigg. Promoted Latics boss Paul Cook was manager of the month.