Sport: Michael Appleton addresses midfield selection headache as Blackpool don't have 'luxury' in options

Blackpool predicted line-up vs Everton as Michael Appleton set to field strongest side

  Blackpool predicted line-up vs Everton as Michael Appleton set to field strongest side The Seasiders will likely field a team similar to the one who will take on Reading in the Championship openerThe Seasiders have had an interesting pre-season campaign so far with a simple win at Southport followed up by a heavy defeat to Leeds United. A week away at a Scotland training camp looks to have paid dividends with a much-improved performance in the narrow loss to Rangers before a disappointing first-half display was turned around in the second half to defeat Salford last time out.

Blackpool got off to a winning start under Michael Appleton against Reading but it remains early days on how far they can go.

Appleton saw the club miss out on a target again this week © Dave Howarth - CameraSport Appleton saw the club miss out on a target again this week

The Seasiders looked lively and confident in the first half before fading drastically in the second as they remain light on options in a number of key positions. Appleton knows how key the next few weeks will be in the transfer market, particularly with even more injury concerns to contend with.

Luke Garbutt, Keshi Anderson and Chris Maxwell have all been added to the list that includes the likes of Jordan Gabriel and James Husband who are out with injury. Anderson in particular is a concern with a couple of months absence expected on the sidelines with an MCL injury.

Blackpool deal for Shamrock Rovers full back off after Irish side suffer defensive injury blow

  Blackpool deal for Shamrock Rovers full back off after Irish side suffer defensive injury blow The Seasiders will likely now look elsewhere for full back reinforcementsThe Seasiders are understood to have offered £250k plus add-ons for the full back with hopes that a deal could be wrapped up this week ahead of the Championship season but Rovers' tight options at the back, following another injury to a Rovers defender this weekend, have seen that deal taken off the table. Michael Appleton sees full back as a priority position to strengthen for his Blackpool side who have just one senior fit natural full back as things stand and there was confidence that Lyons would come in to aid that.

READ MORE: Blackpool player ratings vs Reading as Fiorini impresses in first half but Seasiders fade in second

Appleton however was keen to stress that the energy he asked of his side pre-match was evident in spades in the first half: "Yeah we did and it was important to get off to a fast start like we did and almost put them on the back foot and clearly they will talk about the second half and they dominated it for long periods but the game should've been out of sight.

"I'll recognise that and make sure the players are aware of that but I still think we're more capable of being clinical in the second half than what we were today."

Central midfield is a key discussion point after the Seasiders had a bid rejected from Sheffield Wednesday for midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and failed in their attempts to bring Cameron Brannagan to the club from Oxford United - the latter seeing League One as his preferred destination. With those failed attempts, Blackpool remain short on quality options in the middle of the park.

Michael Appleton issues his Reading FC verdict after Blackpool claim win in Championship opener

  Michael Appleton issues his Reading FC verdict after Blackpool claim win in Championship opener Reading FC's 2022/23 Championship season got off to a disappointing start after Blackpool's Callum Connolly scored the only goal in a 1-0 defeat for Paul Ince's Royals The Seasiders claimed all three points at Bloomfield Road on Saturday with Callum Connolly’s ninth-minute strike enough to secure the win. Royals had chances to snatch a point but were let down by their finishing while the Tangerines remained solid defensively until the final whistle.

Lewis Fiorini figured at the base of the midfield three against the Royals, despite predominantly playing in the eight role in his pre-season outings. However, Appleton maintains the eight is his strongest position but felt he wasn't in a place to play others in the six over the Manchester City loanee.

"Potentially (on Fiorini remaining as a six) but Lewis is one of them where he is much better and he will play a bigger part in the game in terms of being an eight than a six. Obviously, he's shown his range of passing skills today, but when he gets in those sorts of positions 20 yards from goal, he's a real threat, a real goal threat," Appleton added.

"It's one of them where at the minute we haven't got the luxury, we could quite easily have gone with Kenny (Dougall), Kenny's had a mixed pre-season I think that's fair to say, and I think he admits that as well. But when he came on today I thought he did a great job and that's something I can be aware of now."

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Michael Appleton on Blackpool league start perspective and Josh Bowler decision making .
The Seasiders were unfortunate not to come away with something after creating a number of opportunities against the Swans.The Seasiders created a number of opportunities and missed a penalty in a game they should have taken something from, with decision making or the final ball not quite there three games into the season. Blackpool saw a real shift in intent and tempo in the second half with the introduction of Shayne Lavery, albeit they looked relatively settled out of possession in the first half too.

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