Selection dilemma for Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips?

Football managers are often told not to change a winning team but that's a mantra that Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips has admitted he might have to ignore for today's clash against Shrewsbury Town.

Saturday, 19th January 2019, 6:30 am
Chris Long staked his claim for a starting spot with a goal off the bench last week

The Seasiders caused an upset against the league leaders Portsmouth last weekend, Chris Long coming off the bench to net on his debut in the 1-0 win at Fratton Park.

With the likes of Ollie Turton and Curtis Tilt expected to return from injury, McPhillips accepts he’ll have a headache picking his team for today’s clash against Shrewsbury Town.

“I’ve got a couple of tough decisions to make,” the Pool boss admitted on Thursday.

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“I’ve got an idea what I’m going to do but I’ve still got a couple of days of training to make my mind up.

“That’s the way it is in football. Even if you get a good win, like we did last week, there still might have to be a couple of changes.

“It’s always better when you’re winning and it was a hell of a win for us. Hopefully we can back that up now.”

Nick Anderton, playing for the first time since returning from his loan spell at Accrington Stanley, and new signing Long were two players that impressed in last week’s win.

But McPhillips wasn’t at all surprised by their displays and says he expects to see even more from them in the coming weeks.

The Pool boss added: “It is just what he (Anderton) needed, going to Accrington to play those games. He might not have played those games had he stayed with us with Marc Bola in such form and the competition at centre-back.

“He’s always had the potential, he just needed to play and he’s gone and done that. He’s come back and played the one game and he was outstanding, so we’re so pleased to have him back.

“Longy is a goalscorer, he always has been. He looked really sharp in training on Thursday and Friday before the Portsmouth game.

“I was half-tempted to start him but he hadn’t started a game since November, but he was always getting on.

“He’s got a habit of scoring against Portsmouth and he’s done it again. It’s football, it’s confidence.

“He’s a striker and scoring is all he thinks about, even in training.

“If he can’t score it will be thinking about setting someone up, and if he can’t do that it will be about regaining possession.

“We haven’t got enough of those types who just think ‘goal, goal, goal’, but he does that and we’re hoping he backs it up with more goals in the coming weeks.”