Gary Bowyer has made full use of his contacts book again this summer to gain an in-depth insight into the demands of Sky Bet League One.
The manager has picked the brains of several successful coaches at this level to give himself an all-round knowledge of what’s required and what to expect.
It is a process that previously served him well last season, when he signed players with the physical attributes to succeed in League Two.
All the information he has gathered this time around has already been factored in to his preparations for pre-season.
“I’ve spoken to quite a few of them already and asked about what to expect. We’ll put that into place on the training ground,” revealed Bowyer, who graduated with his UEFA Pro Licence last month.
“We’ve already started watching League One games to get a better understanding of it and the quality on show is there for all to see. We know that we’re going to have to step up in quality, but we’ve got some lads who can go out and perform and hopefully embrace the stage that they’re going to be performing on.”
With six summer signings through the door to date, versatility has been a key aspect of recruitment given the flexibility in formation the manager wants moving forward.
Having previously stuck to a traditional 4-4-2 for the majority of his time in charge at Blackburn, a midfield diamond and 3-5-2 system were utilised to great effect in Blackpool’s promotion-winning season.
“I really enjoyed that for myself, for my own learning and developing, playing different formations,” he said. "It will be something we have to do this season, we’ve got be flexible and that’s been reflected in the people we’ve brought in so far.”
The 2017/18 campaign will officially get underway with a game against Bradford City on Saturday 5 August and it’s a date everybody is already looking forward to.
“We can’t wait for the first game at Bradford, what a fantastic opening fixture,” Bowyer admitted. “They nearly got promoted to The Championship and there’s going to be a hell of a crowd there.”