Mark Howard: Today feels like the start of a new era for Blackpool FC
Blackpool goalkeeper Mark Howard believes today’s homecoming occasion will spell the start of a new dawn for the football club.
Around 15,000 fans are expected to descend on Bloomfield Road this afternoon where the Seasiders are set to take on Southend United.
It will be the first home match since Owen Oyston was removed as a director, with the club now in the control of receiver Paul Cooper and a four-man board.
With the fans flocking back to support the team after years away, Howard says the sky's the limit for the rejuvenated Seasiders.
“You can see things are changing,” Howard said.
“There are people around the club, improvements are being made and you can tell there is a massive difference.
“It’s exciting to be a part of and it’s exciting to think what we could be as a club. It’s nice for us to be a part of this new history.
“I’ve bumped into a couple of fans in local coffee shops and they’re all behind us fully.
“Around the ground you can see there’s a lot going on, even the scoreboard being on the lads have had a little giggle about.
“The amount of people helping out is a fantastic thing for the town.”
Pool go into today’s game on the back of a crucial 2-1 win at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night, a victory that bolstered their play-off hopes.
It leaves the Seasiders in eighth place in League One, just four points off Doncaster Rovers in sixth, who are the next side to visit Bloomfield Road on Tuesday.
“It’s teed us up lovely,” Howard said of the Accrington win.
“It was a difficult game, they played well and played a lot of good football on a difficult pitch.
“But it just shows the strength of character this squad has that we came through it. We’ve been doing that all season, we’ve been fighting for every kick, every tackle and every goal.
“It will be nice for the fans to see the amount of effort we put into every minute of every game.
“The fans will really appreciate the effort we put in and how much it matters to us, they should relish that and inspires them to become that 12th man.
“We have got a great team spirit. The win on Tuesday was massive for us to get some momentum coming into this game.
“We need a lot more wins between now and the end of the season, but we’ll see what happens.
“We’ve got hopes and aspirations in that dressing room to do well but we’ll take each game as it comes.
“We have got a target but that will stay in the dressing room. But we know what we’ve got to do and that is catch those teams that are in front of us.
“It’s as simple as that, we’ve got to pick up some points and hope those in front drop some.”