Terry McPhillips says the coaching staff continue to push for consistent performances from what is a youthful Blackpool side this season.
The average age of the starting line-up that faced Southend United last weekend was 25, with Jay Spearing (29), Jimmy Ryan (29) and Colin Daniel (30) the most experienced campaigners.
For players like Sean Longstaff (20) and Viv Solomon-Otabor (22), who are featuring regularly for the first time week in, week out over a sustained period, the challenge is there to maintain certain performance levels.
Though dips in form are expected throughout the course of a season, The Seasiders have shown what can be achieved when everything clicks.
“You’ve seen with some of the games, like the win against Wigan and Portsmouth away, that when we do get it right, we’re a match for anyone. We’ve got young lads, a young squad and a young team with a couple of experienced players in there and you’re aiming for that consistency,” McPhillips admitted.
Pool’s assistant boss has now been working with the players on the training ground since October, having initially joined the club as Chief Scout. The role, which he previously occupied at Blackburn Rovers, is one he’s relished.
“My first passion is coaching and to get the chance to do that again, with Gary, who I think has done superbly in the last 18 months and a bit longer, has been enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
McPhillips, who guided Blackburn’s under-18s to the FA Youth Cup final in 2012, was in the stands in midweek to watch Blackpool’s youth side draw their semi-final tie 2-2 with Arsenal, and he was quick to praise their efforts.
“To do so well against Arsenal in the first leg and to be going to The Emirates level pegging is testament to all of them.
“It was brilliant on Tuesday when all the first-team clapped them in and went in the dressing room to give them great applause as well. It was absolutely superb.”
All the attention now is on the first-team fixture away to MK Dons tomorrow, with this match kicking off a busy Easter period.
“As a player and the staff, there’s nothing better than games, games and more games. Hopefully we can get some points against MK Dons and over the Easter weekend,” he added.