BIG MATCH BUILD-UP: Two teams caught short?

Blackpool manager Paul Ince
Blackpool manager Paul Ince

How Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool must now be regretting the earlier than normal start to the Football League season, if indeed they did vote for its implementation.

As a general rule, this time of year usually brings unbridled amounts of hope and optimism.

But the facts are that both of these clubs have been caught short ahead of the new campaign - and those distractions make it very difficult to predict what sort of game Saturday could bring.

For Paul Dickov everything was going to plan until about a month ago, when takeover talks stalled and Rovers’ new boss was left in the almost impossible position of trying to assemble a new squad when his hands were effectively tied.

Cue this week’s last minute rush to sign Bongani Khumalo and Ross Turnbull.

And for the Tangerines it has been similarly unsatisfactory warm up period.

After releasing 14 players in a bid to wipe the slate clean after a disappointing previous campaign, boss Paul Ince’s recruitment has been similarly slow-moving - so much so that the bookmakers rank the Tangerines among the favourites for the drop.

But like his opposite number John Ryan, who was vociferous this week in his belief that Rovers have enough in their locker to ruffle a few Championship feathers, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston is refusing to panic.

Nevertheless, Blackpool’s less than perfect pre-season is reassuring for those of a Rovers persuasion.

“It’s not been the easiest or smoothest of summers by any stretch of the imagination,” said Oyston.

“We’ve got half of the players we probably want to recruit, and are still talking to quite a few.

“We aren’t there, I’m sad to say, we aren’t where we wanted to be. We are well behind in our preparation.

“It’s probably hampered Paul more than most other managers.

“We released 14 players at the end of last season, some which we didn’t want to lose,” he added.

“We’ve been slow in replacing them so I think that must be what the bookmakers are looking at.

“But some of the players we’ve brought in during the last week or so and some of the players we’ll hopefully bring in will make them change their view.”