Gary Bowyer has revealed his delight at having a number of players back and available for selection again this weekend.
The squad has been stretched in recent weeks due to numerous injuries and suspensions, however things are now looking much brighter on that front.
“Anybody missing does have an impact on us but I was delighted that Jimmy Ryan got minutes under his belt last week, and Curtis Tilt coming back increases our options,” the manager said. “We’re confident now that we’re getting bodies back, which gives us a little bit of a boost.”
There’s even good news on the club’s longer-term absentees, with Mark Cullen (hamstring) and Clark Robertson (foot) out of a brace and protective boot, respectively.
“Mark Cullen’s had his brace off so he’s now learning to straighten his leg out again. There’s no pressure on him in terms of time now, it’ll take as long as it needs to,” Bowyer confirmed.
“Clark has been told he can have the boot taken off and now it’s about weight-bearing. He’s got to go slowly, but as long as though there’s no reaction to what he does, he can gradually increase it over the weeks before coming back fit and ready for the rest of the season.”
The Seasiders face fellow promoted side Portsmouth at Bloomfield Road tomorrow, though there has been plenty of change at Pompey since the last meeting following Kenny Jackett’s appointment.
“When any manager goes in somewhere he wants to stamp his own authority on it and bring in his own personnel. He’s signed several players, but they still have a core there of some good players that won the league last season,” Bowyer said.
“We’re aware of the challenge that lies ahead but we’re looking forward to it, especially with us being at home.”