Fans’ Panel: Let’s bounce back

Blackpool's Alex Baptiste

Blackpool's Alex Baptiste

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Have your say

Still top of the league after four matches, but the end of Pool’s 100 per cent start at Leicester was still a bitter pill for our fans’ forum. Do you agree with their views?

DAVE SEDDON

What a difference a day makes! Back down to earth with a bump. I know we can’t win every game but to me this was an avoidable defeat.

There’s a saying in football – “don’t change a winning team”. By bringing Ferguson in we altered the balance and shape of the midfield, making us sit deeper and setting us up to defend instead of attack.

Osbourne’s natural game appeared to be nullified by this change, and Gomes cut an isolated figure without the savvy Angel to link with.

The fluidity of the midfield trio was lost, and we resorted to an uncharacteristic long ball game. This left the front three feeding off scraps, with the inexperienced frontman Nouha Dicko looking lost.

Ollie appears to have a bit of a Leicester hoodoo.

He is obviously desperate to break this duck against them, and as a result may have let his emotions rule his head, by feeling the need to do something special to beat them.

We are good enough to impose our normal game on any team, so why should we change and overcomplicate things?

Having said all that, we shouldn’t get too downbeat as it was a shocking refereeing decision that cost us a point.

Top of the league after four games – I’d certainly have taken that.

Man of the match: Alex Baptiste

KATY TYLER

Well, I often wondered if we would regret the day we didn’t sign Jamoe Vardy from Fleetwood, but I imagined our regret would come as a result of him scoring a wonder goal in the 91st minute, not as a consequence of a dive in the box, prompting a ludicrous decision by the referee, awarding a penalty based on the cries from the crowd.

The first 15 minutes saw us fight off a barrage of attacking moves by Leicester which was hard to watch. We couldn’t get possession, and 50 per cent of the play was in our third.

I think our defence was solid though, Baptiste for me was outstanding. He almost singleheadedly kept Leicester from scoring.

With 15 minutes of the first half left, we began to look like the Blackpool we know, passes were beginning to link up and we started to attack.

The second half we appeared more in control, but sloppy passing and poor finishing prevented us from earning a well-deserved point.

Changes in the team line-up didn’t work. Gomes plays better with Martinez, who was missed. Our defence was our strength this match, Gilks pulled off some superb saves, Baptiste dominated the back line, and Eardley made some timely tackles. Our weakness was our forwards,

Our first defeat was going to come sooner or later, but the way this one came about was a bitter pill – the referee made my blood boil.

All this said, being a Seasider means we have to ride a rollercoaster of emotions, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Come on Pool, 
still top of the league!

Man of the match: Alex Baptiste

DAVE WHITE

I’m sure few Blackpool supporters anticipate matches at Leicester City with relish, and once again a trip there yielded few positives. Fortunately, in the context of the season so far, the defeat is a mere irritation, rather than an invitation to hit the panic button.

For those for whom Saturday was their first chance to see the Seasiders, this campaign may well have been wondering what all the fuss was about, as an unusually sluggish start gave our hosts the chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Having survived the opening onslaught, we began to create a few chances, but our attacking instincts seemed stifled.

If the challenge on Vardy was a foul, then I await a raft of spot-kicks handed out every week-end. ‘A soft penalty’ would understate it somewhat; Gomes must think football in England is a non-contact sport.

The 100% start might be over, but we can spend a fortnight peering down on the rest of the league. True leaders bounce back, and that is what we must do at Barnsley.

Man of the match: Alex Baptiste

JASON STEED

Disappointed is the only way I can describe the game.

After Friday night’s transfer going-ons, and the way we have been playing, I was optimistic going into the game, but I felt for the first half-hour that we didn’t get going.

The passing wasn’t what it had been, and we seemed to be struggling.

Even so, we did create two or three presentable chances in the first half, with Barry Ferguson’s well-hit volley hitting a post, and Tom Ince failing to beat City keeper Kaspar Schmeichel in a one-on-one. However, there was a lot of room for improvement in the second half.

I don’t know how Mike Jones came to the decision to award the penalty and I hope he watches it back and realises the mistake he made.

He could have easily given us one at the other end when Dicko went down, but it just wasn’t going to be our day.

We pressed at the end and created a few chances, but no real clean-cut ones with Schmeichel not really tested, so in the end a dodgy penalty decision cost us, and we go into the international break on a loss.

But in Ollie we trust, and I’m sure the players will be geared up for Barnsley away.

Stay calm, the Pool are going up.

Man of the match: Alex Baptiste

BRAD HANCOCK

My father always said, ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ And our team card gave me an idea that Ollie is still undecided about the ‘right’ composition of the team.

We are four games into a long, competitive season, and we know he does likes to tinker.

But team selection is a feeble attempt to mask what was a below-par performance on Saturday. It wasn’t helped by an Academy Award-winning performance by Jamie Vardy, and the home crowd at King Power Stadium.

As for referee Michael Jones, well, I think Ollie said enough for the both of us. Leicester dominated for most of the game and the few chances we did make, we didn’t make them count.

We didn’t let the decision early on in the game affect the way we played, so I think if there are any positives, that is one of them. Much has been made about our dealings in the transfer market; quality v quantity. I’m not going to moan about how the club is run, but I do like the look of the reinforcements we have brought into the club, particularly Nathan Delfouneso.

Could be a shrewd piece of business – the boy hasn’t been given a chance, and we could have another Ince on our hands. The break is much welcomed and an opportunity for the squad to build cohesion before Barnsley.

Needless to say, September will be a good yardstick to see where we really are as a team.

Man of Match: Matt Gilks

PHIL CORBETT

So the great run finally comes to an end and frustratingly, in front of the TV cameras. I thought we were suckered into playing Leicester at their own game, only playing our short passing game in the last quarter of each half. When we did, we created a number of chances, and we could have taken something from the game, as while Leicester were getting forward a lot, I thought that our defence coped very well with them.

Of course, the final score was controversially through a penalty that never was. I was 120 yards away at the other end of the ground and it was clear from there that Gomes had got a foot to the ball. For a Premier League referee to allow the crowd to influence him in such a way says more about the standard of refereeing than anything else.

The positive to take is that we are still top of the league going into a fortnight’s break, a position that we would all have settled for as the season started. Hopefully, the fortnight will allow the new signings to bed in and play a full part in what has been a great start to the season.

Man of the match: Alex Baptiste

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