Blackpool boss Ian Holloway admits it has been unfortunate the way things have worked out for Keith Southern so far this season.
While Blackpool have made an impressive start to life in the top flight - including last weekend's shock 2-1 victory at Liverpool - the midfielder has been restricted to two substitute appearances, having initially been sidelined with a knee injury.
"Keith Southern has to be the unluckiest man in the world at the moment because he was probably one of our best players last year and he can't even get in yet," Holloway told the Blackpool Gazette.
Southern played a key role last term as the Tangerines earned promotion to the Barclays Premier League, but the midfielder is yet to feature in the first XI this campaign.
Holloway has expressed his sympathy for Southern but is reluctant to change the team until he has to.
Holloway added: "I have promised them all they will get a good chance, but with the new players and the formation we've got, we are looking a threat and we caused Liverpool all sorts of problems. But as the season goes on, we'll be tested by injuries and more."
Southern does not feel hard done by though, and after playing for the final half an hour at Anfield, has set his sights on forcing his way back into the reckoning.
"There's nothing unlucky about my situation," Southern said. "I'm just desperate to get back in and hopefully I did my cause no harm on Sunday.
"I want to play - there's no shame in admitting it. The manager is a fantastic guy.
"He has brought this club on leaps and bounds and improved me tenfold. I've got a lot to thank him for."
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