BLACKBURN Rovers defender Alex Baptiste will put sentiment to one side tomorrow when he returns to Blackpool.
The 28-year-old was a key member of the Pool squad which won promotion to the Premier League in 2010 and then reached the Championship play-off final two years later after their entertaining top-flight stay lasted only one season.
Baptiste, immediately after signing for Rovers on loan from Bolton Wanderers, admitted he was ‘heartbroken’ at the chaos engulfing his former club.
But since his arrival at Ewood Park in July new Pool boss Jose Riga has finally been given the go-ahead to boost his threadbare squad by chairman Karl Oyston.
That has pleased Baptiste.
But, with Rovers seeking their first win of the campaign after drawing their opener at home to Cardiff City, his only concern will be leaving Bloomfield Road with three points to take into Tuesday’s testing trip to Norwich City.
Baptiste said: “I went back with Bolton last year but it will be good to play there again and it’s nice to see they are signing a few players.
“But it’s a massive game for us, we’ve got two away games coming up on Saturday and Tuesday, so there will be no love lost there for me as we need to get some points.
“We were disappointed just to get the one point against Cardiff but we need to build on the performance we gave and get three points against Blackpool.”
The Seasiders had just eight players on their books three weeks before the start of the season.
But while they bolstered numbers before the Championship got under way last weekend they were unable to fill their substitutes’ bench for their 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest and also for their 1-0 Capital One Cup loss at League Two side Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.
Riga wants to make 10 more signings and admits the players he does have at his disposal ‘aren’t ready’ after a shambolic pre-season.
And the Belgian has called on Oyston to do his job to help drag Pool out of the mess they still find themselves in going into tomorrow’s visit of Rovers.
Riga said: “I have responsibilities as manager and I hope other people at the club will do theirs.
“I’m busy with training at the moment and I leave all the negotiations to other people.
“I’ve been doing my job and now I expect them to do the same.
“How long will it take for me to get this team ready? I don’t know. I know it could take time.
“We need to be realistic and see the position we are in.”