Weekend break was crucial for Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips

Terry McPhillips
Terry McPhillips

Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips believes his players’ “deserved” weekend off will prove

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The Seasiders enjoyed a rare day to themselves on Saturday after their trip to Sunderland fell foul of international call-ups.

Pool, who slipped down to 14th in the League One table as a result, aren’t back in action until Saturday, when they host struggling AFC Wimbledon.

Their last match was the 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy defeat by West Brom Under-21 last Tuesday.

The squad were back in on the next two days before their weekend off. They resumed training in earnest yesterday.

McPhillips said: “They’ll have a full week and we’ll go from there.

“It’s going to be crucial (having that break). I think the lads have deserved a few days off because it’s been relentless with the games, hasn’t it?

“How we’ve done in the Carabao Cup has meant more games for us, so in that respect it’s good that everyone has had a good go.

“But we’re back on Monday and we’ll have a good week in training to work on some stuff, which will be good.

“On the Tuesday we’ll play 11v11 and make it competitive, then we’ll pick a team for Saturday.”

McPhillips admits it was frustrating to go into the break on the back of that Checkatrade defeat, which ended Blackpool’s 13-game unbeaten run.

But McPhillips wasn’t overly disappointed as the game allowed him to get some minutes into some fringe players.

“Obviously you want to stay unbeaten for as long as you can, don’t you? That breeds confidence and all that,” he added.

“But the only positive there is that it wasn’t a draw.

“Yes, it’s disappointing to go into the break on the back of a defeat but I’m not massively disappointed.

“We did make the 10 changes and when you do that it can be a bit iffy – and it was for 25 minutes.

“After that it was a pretty good game, I think – it was if you were a neutral anyway. If you wanted a bit of excitement, it was definitely that.

“Talking to their staff, they were saying how hard a game it was. Their centre forward missed a few and could have scored a few but Christoffer (Mafoumbi) did well coming out, blocking and making some saves.

“But all in all it was a good night’s work. They probably had the better chances, so the better team probably won on the night.”

Blackpool’s Jordan Thompson is back in action for Northern Ireland U21s tonight as they host Slovakia at Windsor Park.

His side could earn a play-off spot for next summer’s European Championships with a win.