Ferguson rues missed chances

Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson

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Blackpool stand-in boss Barry Ferguson was left to rue a wasteful first-half display after two Lee Novak goals condemned his side to a 2-1 defeat against Birmingham.

The Seasiders have now failed to win a game in their last 16 fixtures across all competitions, although the run looked like it might be coming to an end in the first half when Richard Keogh put them in front.

Novak levelled matters after the break with a superb strike and then headed home the winner in the closing stages to turn the game on its head.

Ferguson, whose side have now slipped down to 18th in the Sky Bet Championship, admits the rot must stop, and soon.

“I wasn’t happy when we came in at half-time and we were only one-nil up. The game should have been dead and buried in the first half.

“We started well enough in the second half and we got a sloppy goal against us again.

“Even then we still had chances in the second half we should have put away. We’re not clinical enough.

“I’ll never stop learning and improving and I’ll do that again on Monday morning when they come into training. They’re moving in the right direction. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do.

“I’ll never take my foot of the gas. It was a blip today.

“I said to the boys, ‘It’s roll-your-sleeves-up time’. We’ll not stop working on the training ground because we need to get this right.”

Lee Clark was left to salute another superb away victory for his Birmingham side who climb to 16th and have seven league victories on the road and counting this season.

“It was even more important when I see other results in the Championship,” Clark said.

“Other teams behind us have won. So it’s huge for us. We’re still really aware of what’s going on behind us. We’re not ignorant or arrogant to think that’s us done and dusted.”

The second-half introduction of striker Nikola Zigic and new arrival Jordon Ibe, recruited on loan from Liverpool, made a huge difference for the Blues.

Clark is excited about the potential of Ibe.

“Not bad is he? Not bad. Power, pace,” Clark said.

“We’ve done unbelievable to get him, I’ve got to thank (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers. I’ve pestered him to get him. There were so many other clubs in for him.

“So hopefully this reputation I’ve got where I can do not-too-bad things with these big clubs’ young players is helping us get the edge over some of my rivals, in terms of trying to help them on in their development. I’m so excited by him.”