Matt Gilks has called on Blackpool fans to give former striker DJ Campbell ‘the reception he deserves’ this weekend when he returns to Bloomfield Road with Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers.
Campbell proved to be a big hit for the Tangerines, playing a crucial role in their promotion to the Premier League in 2010, before netting 13 goals in the Premier League the next season as the club were relegated.
“DJ was fantastic for this football club in the promotion season and the year after in the Premier League,” Gilks said.
“He deserves a good reception – he’s done a lot for this football club.
“When we got relegated he wanted to stay in the Premier League, and you can’t fault him for wanting to do that.
“I think the fans will appreciate what he did for this club and the great part he played in what we achieved.”
Gilks is under no illusion as to what Campbell has to offer if he is selected to play this weekend.
“He’s a sharp, lively striker who gives defenders no ends of problems with his movement and his pace,” added Gilks. "If he does play we’ve got to limit his impact on the game early doors.
“He was a lively character when he was here, a typical London lad with his gold teeth and his tattoos.
"He is certainly one of the best lads to have in your dressing room.
“He’s a really jovial character who picks the lads up. As well as being a good lad, he’s an experienced pro too. If he needs to tell you something and he wants to help you, he’ll let you know.”
As well as Campbell, Gilks can expect a fierce test facing international team-mate Jordan Rhodes, currently the division’s joint top scorer with nine goals.
“As well as DJ up there, if Jordan plays we have got to look to cancel him out,” said Gilks.
“I know Jordan personally from our time together at Scotland, and I know what he’s all about.
“He plays off the shoulder of centre-halves and in and around that six-yard box he’s deadly. He’s a slightly more central player to DJ, but if he’s let loose in the box he’ll hit the back of the net.”