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Appleton desperate to trim squad

12 November 2012

New boss Michael Appleton promised a clear-out of his unfit Blackpool ranks despite beginning his reign with a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Bolton.

The Tangerines needed goals from Tom Ince and Nathan Delfouneso to fight back on two occasions after Bolton had twice taken the lead through Mark Davies and Lee Chung-yong.

"There are a lot of players here," Appleton said. "Having over 40-odd pros is difficult and we need to wither that down. We need to be fit, I don't think we're fit enough yet and we're working on that by doing extra work - we have to be fit when we go out on the pitch."

He added: "After going behind twice you can come away from the game happy with a point. But breaking the game down in terms of control and possession, maybe we're disappointed not to have taken the opportunities we had in the game.

"Tom (Ince) scored a terrific goal and there are two or three players who I'm sure will be getting a lot of interest from elsewhere. But we have to create an environment for the likes of Tom and Matty (Phillips) where they don't want to leave the club and when they do it's the right time to do it for us and for them."

Davies capitalised on an Alex Baptiste error after 16 minutes to opening the scoring while Lee fired home a Chris Eagles cross to put Bolton ahead heading into the final quarter after Ince had levelled things.

Delfouneso's equaliser came with just nine minutes remaining and Bolton boss Dougie Freedman - taking charge for just the third time since his switch from Crystal Palace - admitted his side are a work in progress.

"We're still undefeated (since he took charge)," he said. "I thought it was a fantastic game of football - both teams wanted to win the game. To lose the lead twice is disappointing but I thought over the course of the 90 minutes a draw was a fair result.

"It takes time to get to know players and to get them playing the way you want. We could get a few signings in January, but the mentality has changed here already.

"The players are willing to do different things and I've been really happy with the group. It takes a couple of years to get your team, which I found at Palace and it will take me time here, but I can see progress already."

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