CULLEN KEEN TO RE­PAY GARY’S BACK­ING

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Char­lie Peat

IT MAY feel like a frus­trat­ing cam­paign but there’s light at the end of the tun­nel for Mark Cullen after he penned a new con­tract.

The 26-year-old for­ward be­came a Tan­ger­ines hero after net­ting the win­ner at Wem­b­ley for Black­pool against Ex­eter in last sea­son’s League Two play­off fi­nal.

But life in League One hasn’t been easy for Cullen, who has missed the ma­jor­ity of the sea­son after un­der­go­ing surgery on his ham­string last au­tumn.

Cullen has made just nine ap­pear­ances this cam­paign, play­ing a part in the fi­nal five matches, but boss Gary Bowyer has shown faith in the striker, some­thing he’s very thank­ful for.

“I’m over the moon to get it tied up as quickly as we have,” said Cullen, who ex­tended his cur­rent deal un­til the end of next sea­son.

“I’m re­ally grate­ful to the club and to the man­ager for the faith they have shown in me after what’s been a frus­trat­ing sea­son for me.

“It’s been a sea­son wasted, re­ally. It’s a short ca­reer, so I per­son­ally feel as though I’ve got a bit of mak­ing up to do.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the start of next sea­son and try­ing to put this one to bed be­cause it’s been a wasted one on a per­sonal level.

“It’s through no fault of my own but these things hap­pen.

“It was hard for me to get prop­erly match fit. There wasn’t enough time to ar­range many re­serve games or be­hind-closed­doors games to get the min­utes in.

“So I was try­ing to get fit through train­ing and then get as many min­utes as pos­si­ble on a match day, be it five min­utes here or there.

“It was hard for me but I did feel like I was build­ing it up and I played 20 min­utes or so in the last game, which is the most I’ve played since re­turn­ing.”

EA­GER: Mark Cullen

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