Neil Critchley will be looking to kick start his time as Blackpool manager on Saturday afternoon, when his side host Sunderland at Bloomfield Road.
Following a goalless draw away at local rivals Fleetwood Town last weekend, Critchley suffered his first defeat in his first home game as the Seasiders’ new manager on Tuesday night, as they lost 2-1 to struggling Tranmere Rovers.
Saturday’s game will give Critchley and co. a chance to put things right quickly, against a Sunderland side who will themselves be looking to get their push for promotion back on track, having failed to win any of their last four games, a run which has seen them drop out of the League One play-off places.
But following such a disappointing result of their own on Tuesday, Critchley may well feel he needs to make some changes to his side from that defeat to Tranmere, if they are to take all three points on Saturday.
Here, we take a look at two Blackpool players who could consequentially be pushing for a recall to the side for that clash with Sunderland.
Blackpool’s top scorer this season with 15 league goals – 11 more than any of his teammates – Gnanduillet has not started any of the club’s last five games due to injury.
But having coming off the bench against both Fleetwood and Tranmere in those last two games – providing and assist for midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the latter – it does seem as though Gnanduillet is close to a return to full fitness.
Consequentially, it would be a surprise if Critchley was not at least considering bringing him into the lineup for Saturday afternoon, given the significant increase in attacking threat the striker would bring to the side against the Black Cats.
Another player Critchley may well be tempted to recall on Saturday afternoon, is central midfielder Jay Spearing.
Despite his role as club captain, Spearing has not started any of Blackpool’s last six games, coming off the bench just twice in that run, including at half time on Tuesday night in that defeat to Tranmere.
As a result, Critchley may be tempted to bring Spearing back into the side from the start on Saturday afternoon, given the added element of experience the 31-year-old would certainly bring to what is an otherwise relatively young midfielder, for what looks as though it could be something of a tricky encounter against a side still harbouring hopes of promotion.