Clark: We needed this squad all along

Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara scores from the spot last night
Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara scores from the spot last night

Lee Clark hailed his side’s performance last night, saying he wishes he’d had this squad all season.

Blackpool earned their third draw on the trot with a 1-1 draw against Reading last night, despite seeing their relegation confirmed 24 hours earlier.

The game saw Clark pick the same team in consecutive games for the first time this season, and Clark has a good feeling about the squad.

“If I had this group of players when I first arrived there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be relegated,” he said.

“We certainly wouldn’t have been relegated this early, we’d have had a real fighting chance.

“These players have showed me they have quality in the last three games and lots of fighting spirit.

“So all credit to the players.”

Jamie O’Hara’s early penalty was cancelled out by Grant Hall’s unfortunate own goal just 20 seconds after the restart as Blackpool’s winless run was extended to 13 games.

But despite the lack of wins, Clark was pleased with another game unbeaten.

He said: “It was another good performance from us.

“For long periods in the first half and spells in the second half we tried to create chances and passed the ball around well.

“We have some exciting footballers in the group now.

“We have to keep encouraging the lads to try and keep playing and hopefully we can do that. We are creating chances but seem to get punished for the slightest error at the moment. The last three performances have given me hope going forward.”

Blackpool’s were desperately unlucky with the goal which eventually pegged them back, as former Everton man Yakubu’s shot smashed against the unfortunate Hall before going over the line.

Not that the defender knows much about it.

Boss Clark explained: “The goal came back off Grant Hall, he’s in the dressing room thinking he’s scored for us he was so concussed. It sums up our luck at the moment I think.”

Blackpool are now unbeaten in three as they play for pride at the bottom of the Championship table.

It’s a case of what might have been for Clark.

“We have three points in three games and it easily could have been nine. Last night we created plenty of chances, we’ve always got a chance with players like Madine on the field.

“I can’t fault the players in the last three games and I couldn’t fault them last night.”