Date: 8th July 2010 at 11:09am
Written by:

The Blackpool squad have this morning returned to training as they begin their pre-season programme.

The squad are currently being put through the usual weigh ins and fitness tests by club physio Phil Horner and assistant manager Steve Thompson.

As expected, manager Ian Holloway is not present as he does not return from a family holiday until Monday.

With the first pre-season friendly just over a week away, the players have spent their summers equipped with a heart rate monitor in order to ensure that they’ve kept on top of their fitness whilst sunning themselves.

Indeed, Ian Evatt said of the monitors:

‘If any of the boys haven’t been pulling their weight then I’m sure they’ll be in trouble.

‘I’ve had my heart-rate monitor strapped on and made sure I’ve worked hard and hopefully I’ll get the rewards for that pre-season.’

Centre half Rob Edwards, despite being out of contract with the Seasiders, is training with the squad today as he mulls over a new contract offer from the Seasiders.

And despite being on holiday with his family, Ollie still had a few words to say to the Gazette about the summer so far:

‘I have to try to get myself six to nine extra players because I’ve only got 16 at the moment and we need a squad of 25.

‘We might not get to 25. And I hope we don’t have any injuries or suspensions before January because that could kill us.

‘You can die before you’ve even started in the Premier League.

‘If you are not in a certain position in January, with a certain amount of points … well no one has ever got out of it.

‘The stark reality of this is that we didn’t plan to go up. How could Blackpool possibly do that?

‘I sent my chief scout Billy Dearden – and he is my only scout – to Hungary last year to watch a game and that’s the only time we’ve looked abroad.

‘We’ve never watched a player who is worth a million quid. So how on earth can we now try and get a player – in fact nine of them – to keep us in the Premier League?

‘That’s the reality of it. And until you get to the top flight you haven’t got the money to put these structures in place. So it’s a vicious circle.

‘We cannot compete with the vast number of players that these other clubs have got and the quality of them.

‘But you know me, life is all about a challenge. People said we’d get relegated last year and how wrong were they? We did the opposite.

‘There will be no respite whatsoever in the Premier League and every game is going to be a Cup Final for us.’