Recently departed coach hints Blackpool could look to cut ‘top heavy’ squad during January transfer window

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Blackpool’s recently departed assistant Stuart McCall admits he wouldn’t be surprised if the club look to move on a few players during the upcoming transfer window.


The likes of Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall haven’t played a single minute of competitive action between them this season.

While Sarkic and Nuttall both made an appearance during a recent friendly, the pair aren’t even registered in Blackpool’s 25-man squad so can’t feature in the league.

Elsewhere, Tyreece John-Jules hasn’t taken to the pitch during Blackpool’s last nine games, raising the prospect of the Seasiders cutting short his loan move from Arsenal.

Lubala, meanwhile, continues to be left out due to a “private matter”, with the club unable to expand on the reasons behind the winger’s absence.

Ignoring youngsters, the Seasiders have around 32 players on their books in total.

Assessing Blackpool’s squad, McCall – who recently left to join Paul Heckingbottom at his former club Sheffield United – has been impressed with the players he worked with during his brief tenure at Bloomfield Road.
Oliver Sarkic is among a handful of players yet to feature this season

Oliver Sarkic is among a handful of players yet to feature this season

But the 57-year-old agrees the squad is a little “top heavy” and might require cutting down in the January window.

“There’s some really, really good players there,” McCall told The Gazette.

“I remember saying to Neil on my first day what a good signing Richard Keogh was.

“I’ve said before, a football club is only as good as your senior professionals that drive things and in Richard they’ve got a really good pro in the dressing room.

“When you add in the other senior pros as well like Chris Maxwell, it’s what the team needs when they’re being backed up by some good young kids.

“I think young Shayne Lavery has got a great future ahead of him. His appetite for the game, and not taking away from his goalscoring ability, but his love for the game is infectious.

“Sonny Carey is another one who I think has a big future, but there are a lot of good players there and the results have shown that.

“You look at the results against the top three, they came back from two goals down against Bournemouth, beat Fulham and then drew with West Brom the other week in what was a cracking game.

“I know they had a lot of the play, we certainly created a number of opportunities too.

“The future is bright, definitely. We’ll see what Neil will do in January, because the squad is probably a bit top heavy at the minute because it’s a big squad.

“I know teams go on about injuries but Blackpool have a lot of injuries. I know a big thing was made about Birmingham the other weekend, but just look at the players Blackpool are missing.

“That’s just another reason why Neil is doing so well over the last 18 months, because they’ve certainly been unfortunate with some crucial injuries.”