BLACKPOOL put in an SOS call to Congo to get a fit goalkeeper for Valley Parade.

With first-choice keeper Mark Howard ruled out for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury, boss Terry McPhillips has had to call in a favour to get his replacement back.

Christoffer Mafoumbi was in the Congo squad for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe.

But with Howard now sidelined, the deputy reported back to Bloomfield Road this week in preparation for tackling the Bantams instead.

Myles Boney was otherwise the only goalkeeper available after his howler gifted Burton their second goal in last week’s 3-0 defeat at the Pirelli Stadium.

McPhillips said: “We’re really disappointed for Mark but Christoffer has done well for us before and kept clean sheets.

“It’s his chance again to show everybody what he can do.”

Blackpool are running out of chances of their own to gate-crash the play-off spots.

The Burton loss left them four points adrift of sixth-placed Doncaster, who also have a game in hand.

McPhillips has persevered with a diamond system in midfield after matching up successfully against Charlton. But it has not functioned so efficiently since – they were recently beaten 4-0 by Bristol Rovers - and he may look to change formation this weekend.

“We’re just trying to do better at the other end and trying to score more goals by having two up there,” he said after their latest loss. “But it didn’t work, did it? So, we’ll see what we do.”

Blackpool are without midfielder Jordan Thompson, who is in the Northern Ireland ranks for their Euro 2020 qualifiers with Estonia and Belarus. Nya Kirby will take his starting place.

McPhillips, who succeeded Gary Bowyer at the Blackpool helm in August, added: “We’re going to have to go on a run but the games are getting less now – there’s just eight to go.

“We’re running out of games to make a claim but we’ll see. We’ll pick ourselves up and see what this week brings.”