KEVIN Phillips has urged Blackpool to start tonight’s game against Birmingham the way they finished on Saturday.
The veteran striker scored Pool’s opener as they recovered to draw with Watford after a first half he described as “shocking”.
And Phillips, an ex-Hornets player, is hoping for a big improvement in tonight’s 8pm kick-off against another of his former clubs .
He said: “If we start the way we finished on Saturday we’ll be a tough team to beat.
“The first half was very, very, disappointing. There was some shocking defending, some schoolboy errors.
“But the second half was totally different, I thought we dominated the game. The first half was shocking but the second half was excellent.”
The 39-year-old has over 500 League appearances to his name during a career spanning 17 years.
And he revealed he and other senior players had plenty to say at half-time on Saturday, as did manager Michael Appleton.
Phillips added: “The manager said a few choice words and deservedly so. A few of us players piped up as well – it was poor. The dressing room was a lot happier at full-time.
“We had spoken all week about how good they are on the counter-attack. It only takes a bit of communication to avert the danger but we didn’t do that. It was so disappointing.
“I’m just looking forward to the first game in which we go 1-0 up.”
Pool have come from behind to draw all three games under Appleton and Phillips
said: ““I’m just looking forward to the first game in which we go 1-0 up.
“We always respond when we go a goal behind but it would be great to go a goal ahead.
“I’m sure we’ll start on Tuesday better than we did on Saturday.”
Much has been made of Appleton’s decision to replace Elliot Grandin after only 28 minutes last weekend, though Phillips believed it was the right decision.
“Managers are paid to make big decisions and he did that. Isaiah (Osbourne) was immense when he came on. Tiago (Gomes) was fantastic too.
“I don’t think anyone could have any arguments.”
As for his 18th Pool goal last weekend, Phillips explained: “Bash (Chris Basham) did really well to pull it back and I couldn’t really miss.
“It gave us the break we needed to get back into the game.”
Phillips made 37 appearances over three seasons at Birmingham before joining Pool last year, and he knows more than most what a threat they’ll pose tonight.
He said: “It will be a very tough game. Birmingham are a very dangerous team.
“They will want to come here and get a result. We need to start much better.”