Gary Bowyer says he’s happy to see the back of pre-season friendlies and can’t wait for the new League One campaign to get underway.
The manager, speaking following a 2-0 victory at Macclesfield Town, admitted to being glad that competitive football is now less than a week away.
“I’m glad they’re out of the way, I’m not a fan of pre-season friendlies. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season now,” he told the official website.
“We’ve got a fantastic fixture to look forward to next Saturday against a team that were 90 minutes away from being a Championship club. We’re aware of the challenge that lies ahead for us on that one. It’s a great introduction to League One football again for us.”
One player who is looking to stake his claim for a place in the side against Bradford City is striker Mark Cullen, who took his tally to six goals in three games with another brace at Macclesfield.
“He’s continued from where he left off,” the manager admitted. “He had a little bit of a problem early on in pre-season but thankfully we’ve got to the root of that and solved that.
“He has the ability to score goals and the two of them against Macclesfield were very good strikes.”
While utilising pre-season to implement new tactics and integrate new players, the overall fitness of the squad is of paramount important.
The last thing any manager wants is a couple of injury concerns, though the news isn’t too bad on Colin Daniel and Sean Longstaff, who were both withdrawn in Blackpool’s final run-out.
“Colin was just precautionary, he’s fine and there’s no problem. Sean’s had a proper introduction to men’s football there and he’s got four or five stitches just above his eye. He’ll be fine and OK for next weekend.”
Will Aimson, Jimmy Ryan, Brad Potts, Kyle Vassell and new recruit Viv Solomon-Otabor didn’t feature at Moss Rose, with those players being carefully monitored ahead of the big kick-off.
“We’ve worked them hard this week and one or two were a little bit sore from it. Rather than push them we just took precautions and left them out. A couple of them worked before the game at a lower tempo,” Bowyer confirmed.