Nick Anderton says his loan experience at Accrington Stanley has put him in a strong position for the remainder of the season.
The defender, who joined the club from Barrow in 2017, gained valuable game-time with Blackpool’s fellow League One side, playing 25 games in all competitions.
Quick to admit that he needed a run of games, Anderton is now focused on forcing his way into the first-team picture on a more regular basis at Bloomfield Road.
“I played a lot of games in the conference at a young age, I just needed to play in League One for a run of games to show that I could do that as well,” he said.
“I had a stop-start season last season, but this season I wanted to play as many games as I could. I think I started over 20 league games at Accrington, which was massive for me.”
Having returned prior to the Emirates FA Cup tie against Arsenal, the 22-year-old made a big impression at centre-back last weekend in Blackpool’s 1-0 victory at league leaders Portsmouth.
“We did shape on the Thursday and Friday and they put me in at centre-half, and I fancy myself playing there. I like playing anywhere along the back line and though I haven’t played that much at centre-half, I enjoyed it.”
Competition will be heightened this weekend though, as Curtis Tilt and Ollie Turton prepare to strengthen the defensive line once more.
“Tilty has been a rock at centre-half and Turts can play anywhere, really. They are both great to have in the squad. Having them back from injury is only going to be a boost for us, especially pushing towards an important end to the season,” Anderton remarked.
The challenge will be to retain his place for the visit of Shrewsbury Town, who will be aiming to get their league campaign back on track.
“They had a good result in the week against Stoke in the FA Cup, so they’ll be confident. We’ve just got to make sure that we look at how they play, how they set up and what game plan we can come up with to beat them.
“We’re on the back of a great win at Portsmouth, so we’re full of confidence as well,” he added.