Blackpool boss Bowyer backs rivals for top-six tilt

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer
Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer

Gary Bowyer says nothing is more certain than tomorrow’s opponents Southend United challenging for the top six this season.

Bowyer’s Blackpool have been the surprise package in the opening 10 games and are in the last play-off spot.

The Shrimpers ended a run of nine games without a win in emphatic fashion at the Seasiders’ Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood last weekend, and Phil Brown’s men followed that 4-2 success with a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.

Bowyer’s side bounced back from a 3-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers with a midweek 0-0 draw with Rochdale.

The ex-Blackburn boss says that performance has given his men confidence. He said of Southend’s top-six hopes: “There is nothing more certain. You look at their form last season and where they finished (seventh), and we are coming up against another long-serving manager. They have been there, seen it and done it, and they know what this league is all about.

“They had one or two players missing (at the start of the season) but they and Rochdale will be at the top end of the table. We have just got to go there and apply ourselves the way we have been doing and have a right good go.

“We have just got to concentrate on ourselves.

“We are coming up against another well established League One team with an experienced manager, experienced players and it is going to be a challenge.

“But I was absolutely delighted with how our lads stood up against Rochdale.

“We will prepare how we do for every game, and that is being thorough and then looking at ways we can hopefully exploit the opposition.”There will be a familiar a face waiting for the travelling Blackpool fans at Roots Hall in former forward Nile Ranger.

Ranger was embroiled in controversy once again after his ‘ammunition in the boots’ goal celebration at Highbury raised eyebrows.

But Bowyer says Ranger is just one of many attackers they will have to be aware of though he stressed the Seasiders have plenty of attacking options of there own.

He said: “There is not just Nile Ranger they have a team full of experience and know-how and it would be wrong of us to just identify one player and pay all of the attention to one when they have got so many good players in their squad.

“We will prepare how we do for every game and that is being thorough with the opposition and then looking at ways in which we can hopefully exploit and go at them.”