sport

Thompson wants feelgood factor

Blackpool caretaker manager Steve Thompson wants to bring the feelgood factor back to Bloomfield Road in the FA Cup clash against Fulham.

Blackpool face Fulham in Tuesday night's FA Cup third-round replay.

On Friday evening, Pool lost their manager to a Championship rival for the second time this season as Michael Appleton agreed to fill the vacancy at Blackburn only 66 days after he took up the reins from Crystal Palace-bound Ian Holloway.

Scottish Premier League outfit Dundee United on Monday morning gave their boss Peter Houston permission to discuss becoming Appleton's successor after Bradford's Phil Parkinson turned down an approach and Sean O'Driscoll reportedly shunned the opportunity in favour of taking charge at the Championship's bottom club, Bristol City.

Against this backdrop of off-field turmoil, the early season pace-setters have managed just four league wins since the start of October and are languishing in lower mid-table.

It is a far cry from their Premier League adventure under Holloway two seasons ago and last term's charge to the play-off final, where West Ham pipped them 2-1 at Wembley.

Thompson was on the coaching staff throughout this purple patch and, following a lacklustre defeat at Charlton on Saturday, he wants to rekindle some of that spirit.

"It's a massive game," he told Blackpool Player. "We've got to get that feelgood factor back.

"I think if we get a win tomorrow and a decent result against Cardiff (in the league this weekend) then we can get back on track again.

"We've got to be positive and make sure that we've got the fans and everything behind us against Fulham and get this place bouncing.

"We've had the good times. We're having a little bit of a blip at the moment and I need big characters and big players out there.

"If you look at the opposition, you shouldn't really need a team talk. We've been there playing against these teams, we know what they're like.

"You've got to give them the utmost respect but you can't let them come here and start passing the ball."

Thompson acknowledges the quickfire managerial departures might have had a draining effect on a group of players he knows well and expects to come out fighting against Martin Jol's men.

"We've not had the ideal situation where we've lost two managers in two months - it's not a normal situation in football.

"But we've got to show, like always here at Blackpool, that we've got big characters. We treat all these disappointments (the same) and try and turn it round in our own way.

"On Saturday were they a little bit flat? I don't know. You don't want to use excuses with Michael going, but I don't think it helps."

Adding to the air of uncertainty, captain Alex Baptiste and England Under-21 winger Tom Ince continue to be linked with moves away from the Lancashire coast.

While this is a reality Thompson acknowledges, once again he believes it is something his team can harness.

He added: "I've told every individual in the team what I expect from them regarding the scenario and the situations that are happening here.

"There's lads who've got options, there's lads who there's speculation about them going.

"What we've got to do is turn all these negative feelings around the place into positive ones."