Defender Desperate To Hit The Ground Running
Ian Evatt says he is raring to go ahead of the new season and is desperate for the Seasiders to hit the ground running in their quest for promotion.
The play-off final defeat to West Ham United left a bitter taste in the mouths of all connected with the club, at the end of a gruelling 49-game season.
And though the defender admits it has taken many weeks to shake off the disappointment of Wembley, his sole focus is now geared towards the new campaign and a fresh start.
“I’m glad to be back in many ways, I needed a summer break after what happened and it’s taken pretty much all summer to get over the game,” said Evatt.
“I think it’s very similar to last season when we came back from a very low point after relegation and this time we have to return and believe in ourselves that we can get promoted again.
“But we’re all back now and raring to go, we have to put last season behind us, move on and look ahead.”
Manager Ian Holloway took his players on a pre-season fitness camp to Portugal, last summer, and he has opted to follow an identical blueprint this time around.
Those preparations saw the club win their opening two games and Evatt is hoping that another tough week will see Blackpool start the season on the front foot.
“We had some tough, hard sessions in the heat out in Portugal last summer and it’s the same again this time, which is great,” he added.
“Hopefully the golf clubs will sneak their way on to the plane as well, but it’s important that we go away together and start bonding again. It’s a great place to go, terrific weather – unlike here at the moment.
“If we can carry the sort of form we finished last season with then there’s no reason why we can’t start well and give ourselves a good base to push on.”
The 30-year-old’s last campaign was one of mixed emotions, with an indifferent spell of form prior to Christmas followed by a fine run as the season reached its climax.
Consistency will be high on the agenda this term, but only after another tough few weeks that he says get tougher with each year.
“I think pre-season gets harder and harder each year but you have to get on with it and you have to do the work over the summer to make sure that you return relatively fit,” said Evatt.
“If you don’t then you’ll be struggling and you’ll pick up injuries which you don’t want, everybody is desperate to be in peak condition and hit the ground running.
“I’m hoping for a consistent campaign, I was only happy with my form at the end of the season in the last three or four months, but this time now everything is settled off the pitch in my life, I’m confident that I can do it from the start.”