No rush for new Blackpool boss

Jose Riga
Jose Riga

New manager Jose Riga insists he’s in no rush to make signings, even though the Seasiders have only six senior players on their books.

The Gazette understands the Belgian, who was installed as Pool boss yesterday, has already begun pursuing transfer targets.

But Riga assured the Gazette he won’t be panic buying and believes patience is paramount.

The 56-year-old said: “Recruitment is a process we won’t be rushing.

“We want to do things properly and step-by-step to make sure we don’t make mistakes.

“I know we have a shortage of players. We can’t play with a squad of six, but we have a strategy.

“We’ll be working straight away to address this.”

Pool expressed an interest in negotiating new deals with eight of last season’s out-of-contract players, though Chris Basham has already moved on to Sheffield United. Whether Riga wishes to strike deals with the others, including 34-year-old Ricardo Fuller, remains to be seen.

Another pressing concern for Riga is to assemble a backroom team, with the coaching staff who worked with Barry Ferguson in the final months of last season having all headed for pastures new.

It is understood that Riga has clearance to recruit two assistants and the manager added: “I have ideas about my backroom staff and will have those discussions.

“It’s important I have a good team.”

It is unclear whether the Riga will favour support staff from overseas or individuals steeped in the English game.

But he stressed he has an appreciation of English football, despite being in charge at Charlton for barely two months.

Riga said: “In England I love the mentality. Every game is a fight and it’s so intense – that’s what I like.

“The intensity, the stadiums, the fans, I was so attracted to it. Each country has a different football culture but I know England is the place to me.”