A good start for new squad at AFC Blackpool
Wed 10th January 2018 | AFC Blackpool | By Ian Templeman
Although his side are on a fine run of form that has taken them into a play-off position in Division One, AFC Blackpool manager Dave Worthington is playing down talk of promotion.
The Seasiders have won six of their last seven games, and only lost one in the last ten but Dave, who took over as manager in the summer, insists that his newly built squad are still finding their feet in the division.
"We had eight new faces in the starting line up against Oswestry away, on the opening day of the season", said Dave.
"It was a new side then, and we are still learning about how to play in this league.
"There are probably still six or seven players from that opening game at Oswestry who played on Saturday (against Daisy Hill), and in one of the games a few weeks ago, we had six or seven players under 21, but still got the result.
"That bodes well for the next couple of years if we can keep progressing.
"We've been inconsistent at times, that is going to happen, and it will probably happen again before the end of the season.
"It’s just about getting a team that has been put together to deal with situations and how they react to them.
"On Saturday (against Daisy Hill) we were 3-1 up then conceded in the last 15 minutes, and it’s how you handle those situations when you know you are going to be under pressure.
"We are still not brilliant at it, but we will keep working at it".
As well as his players, Dave admits he has gone through a learning curve himself, since taking over the managerial reins a few months ago.
He moved across the road from managing Blackpool Wren Rovers in the West Lancashire League, and he says the difference between the leagues is noticeable.
"One thing I have noticed about this league in comparison to the West Lancs is that it is competitive all the way down", he said.
"Any team can beat any team and if you are not quite at it on the day you will get turned over.
"It’s a good league. I used to watch games in this league when I was a West Lancs manager and I didn’t think there was really any difference between the leagues at the time, but once you get involved you realise there is a difference.
"Players are a bit fitter all round the park, and you don’t get as much time on the ball".
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Dave is cautious about making predictions but is hopeful that his squad can keep the recent momentum going.
"We are happy at the moment but that could all change next week, so we’ll just take it game on game", he said. "It’s an old saying but it’s true for us at the moment.
"Our first aim was to get to Christmas and see where we were at. We wanted to be mid-table at least and maybe in and around the play offs, so we have over achieved a little on that.
"We have got 20 games left now, and will take it in ten game chunks, get through the next ten and then see where we are for the final ten.
"But if we can have a good next few games, we should be able to establish ourselves right in the play offs battle, with hopefully a little bit of gap in case we had a bit of a wobble.
"We’ll keep working hard and putting in the effort, and hopefully we will get our reward at the end of the season".