Nick Anderton is eager to press on at Blackpool after his Accrington loan
NICK Anderton is determined to play his part at Blackpool after finding his League One feet on loan at Accrington Stanley.
The 22-year-old defender spent the first part of the season at Accy and thrived in John Coleman’s side as he made 25 appearances.
His form clearly impressed his parent club, who opted to keep him in their ranks when he returned this month.
Anderton was on the bench for the Seasiders’ FA Cup clash with Arsenal last weekend and he’s vowing to work as hard as he can to get in Terry McPhillips’ first XI.
“I’m going back with the mindset that I’ve been out, played half a season and I’ve got that experience so I want to play every game – that’s my aim,” Anderton, who joined Blackpool from Non-League Barrow in 2017, told The FLP.
“I’m 22 now. Last year was a bit stop-start where I didn’t play as much as I wanted to. At the beginning of this season when Gary Bowyer was still in charge it didn’t look like I was going to be playing so fortunately I got a good loan move to a League One side and feel I did well.
“I loved it at Accrington. That’s what I needed after coming from playing every week at National League level at a young age to not playing. Every footballer wants to play every week – you get confidence and experience.
“We were doing well at Accrington – at one point we were fourth and then we struggled a bit – and there’s a lot of good players there.
“It’s a great club with how it’s run. Andy Holt the chairman has worked wonders, as has the gaffer John Coleman and his staff – Jimmy Bell and John Doolan and all the coaches have a good relationship with all the players. They get the best out of them.
“It’s well-documented they don’t have a big budget for wages but it’s a good club. It was sold out for the games against Barnsley and Sunderland and I really enjoyed it there.”
Anderton was one of Non-League’s most highly-rated defenders at Barrow when Blackpool snapped him up.
And he says regular time at Accrington has helped him feel he belongs in League One.
“When I played in the National League every week and against every team, you know in yourself, ‘I’m dependable, I can play at this level’,” he said. “I kind of needed to go out and experience that week-in, week-out.
“When I went to Accrington there was no guarantee I was going to play. I took a gamble really because I went to another League One side when I’d only played four or five games in this division before.
“League One is very competitive. Luton came up and they’re flying, Accrington are doing well, so are Wycombe. You’ve got massive clubs like Sunderland, Barnsley, Portsmouth, Luton is a big club. Every game is tough. But at Accrington we went into every game trying to win.”
While off-field issues, fan protests and boycotts have dominated much of Blackpool’s season, the players can only concentrate on their own performances.
And Anderton says they’re capable of making a push for the playoffs.
“If you go on a run of four wins in a row you’re around the playoffs,” Anderton said. “Getting momentum in the league is massive. This is the important time of the season when everything is to play for.
“I’m going to train hard and work hard. I want to play my part at Blackpool. It’s a strong squad and I want to be a part of us working our way up the table.”
GOOD EXPERIENCE: Nick Anderton in his loan spell at Accrington Stanley and, inset, Stanley manager John Coleman