Midfielder Charlie Adam is convinced promoted Blackpool will be ready for the start of the Premier League season. The Lancashire side suffered a double blow yesterday as their already threadbare squad was further depleted by serious injuries to two players.
Striker Billy Clarke learned he could miss the whole campaign after rupturing a cruciate ligament in a pre-season friendly while fellow forward Louis Almond was ruled out for three months with a dislocated shoulder. Their absences will increase the urgency for manager Ian Holloway to add to his squad ahead of the 14 August kick-off at Wigan.
Holloway is yet to sign a player this summer and has lost four with loans for Seamus Coleman, DJ Campbell and Stephen Dobbie ending and Ben Burgess joining Notts County. But Scotland international Adam said: "Come August 14, that's when we'll be ready. That's when you know you are in the Premier League, when you walk out at 2.55 ready to win your first three points."
The 24-year-old conceded, however, the loss of the pair would leave a void. He added: "For Louis it is tough, he is a young boy. Billy is an older player but he is still young. It will be hard but the lads will get through it and hopefully they will come through it ready. They'll be there cheering the lads on and hopefully we can get the right results for them."
Blackpool have had former Arsenal and Everton striker Francis Jeffers on trial following his release by Sheffield Wednesday while a deal for Israel defender Dekel Keinan could be close. Clarke, 22, was injured in the Tangerines' first summer friendly against Tiverton Town on 16 July.
It was initially thought the player might be out for three months but the problem has proved worse than feared and he has now undergone surgery that will sideline him until at least April. Holloway said: "It might be the whole season now. He was looking so sharp in training and had done so much in the summer to try to get over the knocks he had last year. We're all gutted for him, absolutely gutted for him."
Almond, who had a loan spell at Cheltenham last season, was hurt on Saturday in a match against Leyton Orient. The 18-year-old will also have an operation to correct the problem.