Blackpool interim player-manager Barry Ferguson has dropped his strongest hint yet that he is ready to hang up his boots to concentrate full-time on life in the dugout.
The present incumbent for the Seasiders was unable to mastermind a first victory in 15 games, having to be content with a 0-0 draw at Ipswich in the Sky Bet Championship.
But former Rangers and Scotland captain Ferguson, who has secured three draws in his opening five games as a manager, would be more than happy to take on the job on a full-time basis.
Loading article content
Ferguson said: "If I get the job, I really don't think I will be playing.
"People have done both jobs (at the same time) but I don't think I can do it. I made the decision not to play and stay on the sidelines, and the squad is becoming strong enough to cope.
"I am putting a new system in place and I want my team to be attack-minded. The commitment and effort has been there from the start, but in the games against Forest and Ipswich we have also shown quality and belief."
After surviving an excellent start from play-off hopefuls Ipswich, Ferguson was right to claim that his side deserved all three points.
Ipswich could have been two goals up inside 10 minutes when Daryl Murphy ran clear but was denied by goalkeeper Matt Gilks, who was then left a relieved man after watching David McGoldrick's bullet header fly inches wide of his near post.
But Ipswich were unable to build on their early pressure and slowly Blackpool began to level things out.
Faris Haroun could not find a way past Scott Loach after picking up Stephen Dobbie's cute through-ball - with Luke Chambers just beating David Perkins to the rebound.
Belgian midfielder Haroun, signed on a free transfer last month, was again thwarted by Loach at his near post just before half-time after an initial error from Tommy Smith.
A dismal second half ensued with Haroun once more going close late on, but again denied by Loach who only found out he was playing two hours before kick-off following a neck injury to regular goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
Mick McCarthy's Ipswich men attempted to set up a grandstand finish but their best chance was scuffed by McGoldrick 12 yards out, leaving the home manager a frustrated figure.
McCarthy said: "We started really well, had the best chances but didn't take them. The game then developed into a scrap but the conditions were not great.
"We could have won it, but we could have lost it. We probably shaded it, but we didn't play well enough to win the game.
"I knew Barnsley (last week) and Blackpool would be just as tough as Reading and QPR. They are fighting for their lives and Blackpool have been on a bad run. But they are fighting for Barry Ferguson and they are no mugs."