Manager Previews Season Opener Against Exeter CityGary Bowyer says he's glad the league season is finally here and hopes his side can get off to a quick start against Exeter City tomorrow.
The manager has waited nine months to get back out on the touchline for a competitive fixture and is looking forward to seeing his side progress.
A demanding 46-game EFL season awaits, though a strong start will ensure that Blackpool set the tone for a challenge towards the top end of the division.
"It's been a long time coming over pre-season but I'm glad it's finally here," Bowyer told the official website. "It's a marathon and not a sprint but your start is important. We'll try and get some momentum going very, very quickly. The sooner you get that win, the better it is for everybody. We'll be trying very hard on Saturday to get up and running."
Nine new faces have joined him at Bloomfield Road this summer and further additions are expected prior to the transfer window closing.
"We're trying to identify one or two more but the lads that are here have given me a tremendous amount of effort and hard work over pre-season," he said. "They've bought in to what we're trying to achieve, but we've only been together for six weeks and it's going to take time. We need to be a little bit patient with that but the games are coming thick and fast now, and that helps massively."
Two particular arrivals, Andy Taylor and Jamille Matt, have missed out on a number of the club's pre-season games due to injury, though both returned to training earlier this week.
"Minutes played isn't ideally what we would have wanted but we play five or six games in the next two weeks so there's plenty of minutes for them to catch up on. They're experienced enough to manage themselves through games so we're happy enough with that."
In the opposite dugout this weekend will be a manager who has been spent 10 years in charge of Exeter City, Paul Tisdale. It's a fantastic record in this day and age and it means Blackpool will face a very settled side.
"It's a massive achievement and I'm delighted that the club have shown him that much faith and confidence in him," Bowyer said. "He's a fantastic manager and it just shows you what culture can be developed given time. They've been established for some time now and that's one of the challenges we face on Saturday."