Clark: Axe sharpened keeper Lewis

Blackpool's Joe Lewis
Blackpool's Joe Lewis
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Blackpool manager Lee Clark has hailed the contribution of Joe Lewis, just weeks after trying to send the goalkeeper back to Cardiff City.

Lewis spared Pool further embarrassment with a number of fine saves in Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford, who had 42 attempts on goal and over 75 per cent of the possession.

The loan keeper’s sensational display came just weeks after the 27-year-old was axed from Pool’s starting XI for three games.

Clark insisted Lewis had been dropped purely for “tactical reasons”, despite much speculation that Pool wished to send him back to his parent club to avoid paying a £40,000 loan fee due after 30 appearances.

Now Clark is full of praise for the way Lewis has bounced back.

“Every player, no matter what level, gets left out from time to time,” he explained.

“At the time I felt Joe had not produced the levels we know he can.

“We have a number two here who I believe in (Elliot Parish), so I gave him a chance.

“Joe used the time out of the team properly and got himself back in the side. He’s come back in outstanding form.”

Lewis could do nothing about Pool’s horror show at Brentford, where two records were set. The Bees’ total of 42 goal attempts was the most by any team in the top two divisions this season.

To add to the woes of Pool fans at Griffin Park, their side managed only two shots, the fewest in either division all season.

Clark was full of praise for stopper Lewis, who has come to Pool’s rescue time and time again this season.

“Joe was outstanding on Tuesday,” said the manager. “We knew he would be busy in the second half (after Charles Dunne was sent off) and he stood up to Brentford very well.”