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Eccleston: Eager To Impress

Posted: Tue 28 Jan 2014
Author: Sean Gallagher

The 23-year-old now hopes to stake a claim for a regular first-team place

Nathan Eccleston hopes to build on the encouraging display he showed against Doncaster when The Seasiders travel to Reading tonight.

The 23-year-old - who made his first league start for the club at the weekend - was a surprise inclusion in Barry Ferguson's starting 11 for the game but the former Liverpool striker didn't let the Scot down impressing in the 66 minutes he was involved in.

He said: "Since Fergie's taken over I've been given a new lease of life. If I'm honest I was surprised to get the start on Saturday but it was exactly what I needed, so I'm grateful for Barry for believing in me.

"I came in Saturday morning with Gilksy and Baz just pulled me into his office and told me that I was going to start. He said he was impressed with the way I had been training the previous two days and to take that kind of form into the game and show confidence in my own ability.

"With Fergie coming in it's given the opportunity to the likes of myself and a few others who haven't been playing or have been on the fringes of the squad to make an impression and get in the manager's plans."

Following the completion of a loan spell at Carlisle earlier in the season Eccleston has struggled to stake a claim for a first-team spot and with his contract expiring in the summer it looked unlikely he would be featuring much between now and the end of the season. 

However, after starting in a left-wing role against Doncaster he is now hopeful that will be the catalyst for more appearances to arrive in the future.

"Fergie's said himself there's going to be no guaranteed starters and he's going to base it on how he sees it on the training ground," added Eccleston. 

"If people are dedicated to the club and the team and show a good work ethic on the training ground, they'll be given a chance and that's all you can ask for from the man in charge.

"I'm out of contract in the summer but at the moment I'm not really concerned about that, all I'm concentrating on is first and foremost to train as well as I can do and then do myself justice on the pitch when I get the chance, and then hopefully reap the rewards from that. 

"I was happy with my display on Saturday. Left-wing isn't an unfamiliar position to me as I've played there during my youth days at Liverpool and when I've been out on loan previously I've played on the wing, upfront or behind the striker, so I'm comfortable playing anywhere across the attacking line. 

"As long as I'm playing and being given the opportunity to impress I don't care what position I'm in to be honest with you."

The forward admitted that his self-belief has risen significantly over the past week, pointing towards the opportunity of being given the chance to play first-team football as the reason behind this.

"The transformation in myself in the short space of time since Fergie's been in charge has been remarkable. I'm a lot more happier and that comes from playing and the manager believing in you, which gives you the platform to show what you can do.

"The more games I'll play the fitter and sharper I'll become and then the Blackpool fans will get to see the best of me."