Hard work is key says Blackpool keeper Slocombe

Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe has twice won promotion from League Two
Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe has twice won promotion from League Two

New Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe has twice gained promotion from League Two – but says a good start is not always the secret to success at this level.

Slocombe was part of the Scunthorpe side that gained promotion to League One with a late 28-game unbeaten stretch in the 2013-14 season.

He was also in an Oxford side sniffing around the top of the table before bagging automatic promotion last term.

After being told by Oxford boss Michael Appleton that he was not guaranteed first team football, Slocombe joined Blackpool this summer.

He said: “I think it is always key to have a good start but it is not terrible if you do not.

“At Scunthorpe, when we got promoted out of this league, we had an indifferent start to the season.

“It was not bad, it was not brilliant, we were mid-table and we had a very good run over Christmas and towards the end of season that got us promoted.

“At Oxford we spoke at the start of the season about how important the start of the season is and to get points on the board quickly. I think we were maybe in and around the play-offs for maybe a couple of months, then top three and top four for the majority of the season.

“I think the important part of the season is when you have quite a few games in a short space of time.

“If you can pick up good results inside them you can see tables changing very quickly.

“When I was at Scunthorpe we got 20-plus clean sheets throughout the season which reflects the sort of team we had.

“At Oxford we were very attack-minded, very open and, probably, our better players were our attacking players.

“Either way, one of the main principles was how hard we worked. Whether we are an attack-minded team or whether we are solid and we win games that way, we worked hard every day, not just on a Saturday.

“There are four good teams coming down including us. Grimsby will be a tough place to go, Cheltenham will be a tough place to go and up until last year people would probably have written teams like Accrington off but they had a fantastic season last year so it just goes to show every season this league gets tougher and we just have to make sure we meet the demands of it.”