Blackpool’s fans voted with their feet last night, when manager Lee Clark described the attendance as demoralising but understandable.
Just over 4,000 were inside Bloomfield Road for the 3-0 defeat by Charlton, the lowest home crowd for a League game since December 2004.
Although the official attendance, which includes all season-ticket holders, was over 9,000, large areas of the stadium were totally empty as Pool lost their sixth game on the bounce. They have failed to score in the last four.
It is the worst run of results for the Seasiders in 22 years and Clark says he totally understands fans’ decision to stay away.
“It’s demoralising looking up at the empty seats, absolutely, but I don’t blame the fans,” he said.
“You hear some of the things being shouted and it’s tough, but lots of managers have tried here in the last couple of seasons.
“Since December 2013 we’ve played 69 games and won just seven. That shows the decline here has been going on for a long time.
“There’s only one way we will turn this around and that’s by improving results. The only way we’ll get these fans back is to start winning games.”
Clark once again took abuse from supporters as goals from former Pool winger Chris Eagles, Simon Church and Johann Berg Gudmundsson capped another miserable evening.
The manager is willing to take the flak on the chin, adding: “I’m not blaming the fans and I never will. I understand 100 per cent.
“I’m demoralised, so God knows what they are feeling like right now.
“I’m not shying away from my responsibility in this but I’m telling people how it is.
“There was one guy behind me shouting, ‘Just pick the youth team on Saturday.’ Well, I’ve already got half of them in my squad.”
Blackpool were well in the game in the first half and had their fair share of chances, though ultimately Clark was left disappointed by his side’s finishing and defending.
“In the first half Charlton only had two opportunities – one from a breakaway on our set-play and the one they scored from,” he said.
“We had more opportunities than them but we looked like a team who were short of confidence, particularly in front of goal.
“In the second half we gave away goals which would disappoint you at any level of football , which has been the story of the last few weeks.
“At 0-0 we were clearly the better side. We had more territory and the better situations.
“But our decision-making isn’t great for their goals. The first one started with a long ball by their left-back, which is the way teams have to play on our pitch, and we didn’t deal with it.
“We didn’t handle the setback but we had opportunities to pull it back. The second goal was a really bad one to give away and it went downhill from there.
“All in all, it was another bad night.”