PETER Clarke has admitted he's starting to feel the strain of a tough season but he's gritting his teeth and aiming to complete the year without missing a single league game.
The skipper is the only Seasiders ever-present this term – playing all 35 league games. He's also played four of the five cup-ties Pool have featured in. In fact the only night he's had off was the LDV second round clash at Carlisle, a game an under-strength Seasiders team lost 2-1. Clarke admits it's been a tough slog but he is a footballer who'd much rather be playing than watching from the stands. "I've got plenty of aches and pains but thankfully nothing serious. They are just the kind of things you always suffer from at this stage of a season," said the 24-year-old. "I don't want to miss games and I've always been like that. "Fortunately over the years I haven't had to miss many because I've been lucky with injuries ... touch wood. "I broke my wrist when I was a 17-year-old at Everton and a couple of years later I had a knee injury which kept me out a few weeks. "But apart from that I seem to have been very fortunate. I hurt my ankle in January last year – after we played Leicester in a Cup replay at Bloomfield Road – but I was able to struggle on to the end. "Hopefully I'll be able to do the same this time. "The end of the season isn't too far away and the manager will probably adapt the training so that the lads' legs and bodies take less of a pounding. Threat "Any player who is tired will just have to keep in mind that it's nearly the close season and it's then that you can get a little break, rest your body and maybe get away somewhere nice. "In the meantime we've got work to do and I just hope I can play a part in every game and help make sure we stay up." The biggest threat to Clarke's ever-present record is not injury but suspension. The captain is on nine bookings for the campaign and has to reach the second week of April without collecting another caution if he is to escape a ban. "The threat of suspension is always there at the back of my mind when I'm out on the pitch but I can't change my game," added Clarke. "It's just football. If it happens it happens and I'll have to accept it. "But fingers crossed I can avoid it and I hope I can because I want to play a full part in trying to help the team achieve it's aim and reach safety as quickly as possible." n POOL reserves take on Bury at Bloomfield Road tomorrow at Jamie Burns, Matthew Blinkhorn, David Fox, Scott Vernon and Les Pogliacomi are all expected to get a run-out. n Striker Keigan Parker has been named as Pool's player of the season by a panel of experts on behalf of FourFourTwo magazine. The magazine polled players and managers from the Championship, League One and League Two to uncover the best players outside the Premiership. Although no Blackpool player was in the top 50, Parker was given special recognition as a player who has played a key role for his club.