Gary Bowyer is looking for his Blackpool side to carry over the momentum of last season and strive for further improvement in Sky Bet League One.
The manager, having guided the club to promotion three months ago, says confidence remains high ahead of the new campaign getting underway with a trip to Bradford City.
“Our last three games – two against Luton and the one against Exeter – were fantastic occasions and fantastic football matches. We got massive confidence from that, belief and great feelings. We’ve got to take all that into Saturday’s game. We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
Bowyer has added 12 new players to his Blackpool squad so far this summer, with nine of his additions under the age of 26. Four of those arrivals have also joined on loan deals from leagues above.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to bring some young ones in and work with them, develop them and make them better and hopefully go on to greater things, whether that’s with this club or elsewhere,” he admitted.
“We’ve recruited some very good footballers who can handle the ball so hopefully we’ll be looking to play a style of football.”
Competition within the squad has been fierce this pre-season, though the manager now knows his starting line-up for tomorrow’s opener.
“I’m clear in my mind with where we’re going to go and how we’re going to go. It has been competitive and we’ve brought players in to make it competitive. It creates a really good working environment for us, and we’re going to need the full squad this season, it’s as simple as that.”
Blackpool come up against a Bradford City side that reached the Sky Bet League One play-off final in May, though The Bantams have also had a fair turnaround in playing personnel since.
Rory McArdle, James Meredith, Stephen Darby, Billy Clarke and Mark Marshall were amongst those to depart in the summer, however Stuart McCall has bolstered his squad by signing Adam Chicksen, Jake Reeves, Shay McCartan, Dominic Poleon and Paul Taylor.
“Stuart has lost some good players but what they have done is gone and recruited well. They’ll be disappointed that those players have gone but delighted with the ones they’ve managed to bring in,” Bowyer said.
The match against Bradford will kick-off an action-packed week that will also see Blackpool take on two other League One sides, Wigan Athletic and MK Dons, though the fixture against the former will be a Carabao Cup one.
“It’ll be a great week for us in terms of learning about the league and the level of opposition and level of competition. It will tell us how we’re going to have to adapt and how we’re going to have to improve in certain areas. We’re looking forward to it.”