Clark: We just didn’t start the game

Jamie O'Hara looked lively on his Pool debut

Jamie O'Hara looked lively on his Pool debut

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Manager Lee Clark described Blackpool’s last two performances as “chalk and cheese”.

The Seasiders found themselves dead and buried by half-time at Leeds on Saturday, 3-0 down after a terrible start.

It was in stark contrast to Wednesday night at Fulham, where Clark’s men burst into a two-goal lead only to be pegged back to 2-2.

And the Pool boss accused his side of not reacting to Leeds’ strong start, though Nile Ranger did pull one back to make the final score 3-1.

Clark said: “We lost the game in the first half-hour. We didn’t start the game at all. It was chalk and cheese from the Fulham game, even with the same personnel and the warning signs.

“In the first four or five minutes, they got in behind us down our left side six or seven times and we didn’t react. We needed to weather the storm.

“You can’t always come away from home and have the sort of start we had at Fulham.

“Sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and gradually work your way into the game.”

The defeat leaves rock-bottom Pool 10 points from Championship safety with just seven points and one win from 17 games.

Clark added: “The players showed a big improvement in the second half but sometimes it’s easy to play when the opposition think the game is gone.

“I have no qualms with the result. The first-half display wasn’t good enough.

“We let them continue to hurt us and go one up. By the time half-time came we had a huge mountain to climb.”

Clark handed a debut to loan right-back Brian Lenihan, in place of suspended captain Tony McMahon, but otherwise stuck with the side which did so well at Fulham.

That included a left side of Charles Dunne and Andre Blackman, though the latter was replaced by the excellent Jamie O’Hara after just 17 minutes.

And Clark hinted there’s work to be done on his left-side partnership.

“We were done on a breakaway from our attacking position,” he said. “We didn’t get in to cover and a ball was played in behind down the left.

“They are young players who haven’t a lot of experience, certainly at this level. We have to work with them.”

Leeds boss Neil Redfearn was back in the dugout after a successful caretaker spell in September, a period which included their last win eight games ago.

He said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half. Some of the movement and the passing was different class. That was as good as I’ve seen them play. It could have been anything.

“It wasn’t just the pressure, it was good football culminating in three goals. The second half was a damp squib but the result was the main thing.

“We never gave Blackpool a chance to settle. The start was excellent and we were like a whirlwind for 10 minutes.”