In this week’s Up The Pool, we chat exclusively with The Seasiders’ wounded midfield warrior, the newest addition to the club’s coaching staff and a former Tangerine looking to rebuild his career managing in the non-league.
In our cover feature, Chris Basham discusses his battle to regain fitness after a picking up an eye injury against Leicester City last week, and his thoughts on the season so far.
The midfielder has become a regular in the heart of the Blackpool midfield over recent months, after struggling to force his way into the side at the beginning of the campaign. Despite the obvious frustration, the 24-year-old always believed it was important for him to stay positive.
“When Ian Holloway was still in charge I still used to go and see John Murphy so that I could play in a reserve game. You don’t want to let your head drop, and even a win in a reserve game can make you happier. I remember travelling all the way to Celtic for one match and that gave me a lot of confidence,” Basham said.
“I learnt not let my head go down when I was at Bolton. We had a lot of foreign players that weren’t really involved and they lost their heads a little bit. The older lads guided me a little and told me not to lose mine because I had the talent. You just have to wait and see what happens. A lot of lads can lose their heads but I remember what it was like to work at McDonalds.”
Elsewhere we catch up with Alex Rae, after he recently agreed to link up with former team-mate Paul Ince as a member of the Blackpool back-room staff.
“My relationship with Paul brought me here. I was fortunate enough to play in a very good Wolves team with him, and obviously played against him for many years,” said the 43-year-old.
“It’s ironic that we didn’t have a very good relationship when we were players, there were a few words spoken between us.
“But we have the same philosophy, same ideas and the same desire to win and we now find ourselves here with a great opportunity at Blackpool.”
Paul Ince’s decision to link up with son Tom at Bloomfield Road is a move that has sparked much discussion both in the town and beyond.
One man who is well aware of the challenges of mixing football and family is former Blackpool defender Nicky Law, who manages son Josh at Blue Square Premier side Alfreton Town.
“It can be difficult to be honest, until you come to terms with it. I think unfortunately at times you do take the job home with you and so you have to get used to that and learn not to.
“As well, I think at first every supporter is of the opinion that the player is only in the team because the manager is his dad – although certainly no-one would say that about Tom Ince!
“I think it’s an absolutely tragedy if a manager puts a player in at a level he can’t cope at just because it is his son. He’s hanging him out to dry, and the person that su¬ffers the most is the lad himself.”
Elsewhere, this week’s team-mates quiz is sure to be the most competitive yet, as goalkeepers Matt Gilks and Mark Halstead go head to head, and you can find out which Pool star is a big fan of MTV reality show Geordie Shore.
Plus, we speak to Neal Eardley over his recent switch to midfield, Rob Edwards talks Blackpool and Bristol City and club secretary Matt Williams discusses the impact of the financial fair play rules.
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