Neil Critchley has confirmed that Marvin Ekpiteta is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
The defender, who had been an ever present for the Seasiders in the league this season, was forced off with the problem against Rochdale in midweek and missed Saturday’s victory at Portsmouth.
A scan has revealed that the 25-year-old will miss a significant chunk of matches from here on in, which means an opportunity will now present itself for others to stake a claim in the side.
“The news wasn’t great. He’s going to be out for a decent period of time. It’s really unfortunate and a big blow,” Critchley said.
“Daniel Ballard stepped in against Portsmouth and I thought he was fantastic, playing against a really top striker in this league (John Marquis). He kept him quiet and I thought he was outstanding.
“We don’t make any excuses. We just get on with it and find a solution. We’ve shown a belief in what we’ve got.”