Mark Robins is ready to hand James Vaughan his first start in seven matches at Blackpool – and hopes Joel Lynch will be in contention for the trip to Reading next Saturday.

Both players have been on the training ground this week, 12-goal top scorer Vaughan keen to build on his return from a torn calf as a substitute against Blackburn last Saturday and defender Lynch as he works in his rehabilitation following groin surgery.

 

The Welsh international last featured against Birmingham at St Andrew’s on February 15, and like Vaughan, has missed far more matches than he would have liked this season because of fitness issues.

“We’re in pretty good health,” said Robins as he went through final preparations for the Bloomfield Road clash this morning.

“Joel is back running on the grass, which is good news, and hopefully he’ll be able to rejoin the group next week.

“James has shown no ill-effects after his appearance against Blackburn, and he’s had a good week’s work.”

The boss is looking forward to seeing Vaughan and Nahki Wells develop an understanding, and has three games in eight days in which to hone his frontline pairing, with Middlesbrough visiting the John Smith’s Satdium on Tuesday.

Of course Blackpool is the priority as Town seek a first win in four at a notoriously tough ground to go to.

“It’s bang on the West coast, so you get hit by any adverse weather, the fans can be pretty partisan, and there’s some quality in the squad there,” he said.

Robins finds it hard to fathom exactly why Blackpool have slipped to 18th, with just one win in 19 league games, after starting the season so brightly.

“There seems to a lot of turmoil over there, and obviously there has been a managerial change (Barry Ferguson for Paul Ince),” he said.

“Barry is starting to get into the job now, and bringing in Eric Black (the former Motherwell and Coventry manager and Birmingham, Sunderland and Blackpool coach) was a good move.

“Eric has a lot of experience and know-how, and we’re under no illusions – we’ll have to be on our game.

“They are scrapping hard, and the signs are they are only a little bit away from turning their results around.

“We also have to turn our recent results around, so there is a lot to play for.”

Robins hopes Vaughan and Wells, who scored his third Town goal in the 4-2 defeat by Blackburn, will form an “explosive” partnership.

But he says Danny Ward, who has been playing up front in Vaughan’s absence still has a lot to contribute as he works to earn a new Town contract.

“Danny is a good player who gets through a lot of work,” he said.

“The only thing missing is more goals, because he gets into good positions, and we know he is capable of finishing.

“If we can get him hitting the target on a more regular basis, he will be a real handful, because he has plenty other attributes.”

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