'With Blackpool being relegated...': Portsmouth boss assesses Owen Dale's future

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Portsmouth boss John Mousinho expects to see Owen Dale back at Fratton Park next season – but in a Blackpool shirt, not a Pompey one.
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The 24-year-old has now returned to Bloomfield Road following his season-long loan spell on the South Coast.

The winger made 50 appearances for the League One outfit, scoring twice, but Mousinho doesn’t anticipate him returning.

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“With Blackpool being relegated, I would expect to see Owen featuring for them next season,” he told our sister paper, the Portsmouth News.

“It wouldn't surprise me at all if they wanted him back for the first day of pre-season, he challenges for a spot in the side, and we actually face him next season.

“Owen potentially returning to us was a conversation I had with him at the back of the season. I told him: ‘I will be very surprised if you are not playing for Blackpool next season, but if things don’t go particularly well pre-season then let us know what’s happening, keep us up to date’.

“Owen for the most part of my time here – and overall – did pretty well, although lost his place in the side towards the back end of the season.

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The winger scored twice in 50 appearances for PompeyThe winger scored twice in 50 appearances for Pompey
The winger scored twice in 50 appearances for Pompey

“Part of that was trying other things, part of that was about Paddy (Lane) coming into that role and doing really well, and part of that was the fact we knew Owen was going back to Blackpool so we were trying to be future focused.

“Overall, his contribution was excellent, he worked his socks off, was very, very good in everything he did for us.

“The one area I don’t think anybody can have any argument about was the fact we just wanted a bit more from him in terms of goals and assists – and that was a big part of our conversation at the back end of the season.

“Wherever he goes, if he can improve that part of his game then he’ll be a real threat.

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“There’s a reason Blackpool signed him and, having gone down a division, depending on whoever their new manager is, I am sure he’ll have a decent pre-season and will be challenging for a spot. I will be very surprised if he isn't.”