Paul Ince has hit out at claims there’s a discipline problem at Blackpool.
The Seasiders have had five players sent off in less than 90 minutes of football after Neal Bishop and Angel Martinez both saw red on a terrible afternoon at Derby, where Pool slumped to a 5-1 defeat after leading at half-time.
Pool, who ended last Tuesday’s defeat at Yeovil with eight men, have now had eight players sent off this season, prompting many to question the club and its management.
But Ince was quick to play down the issue. He said: “It’s easy for people to say we have a lack of discipline.
“But Angel’s gone for a tackle and was probably an inch away from it being a good one.
“If you look at our record last year, you’ll see there isn’t a lack of discipline.
“I put a lot of it down to the poor standards of refereeing we are getting.”
Isaiah Osbourne headed Pool into a third-minute lead at Pride Park. But after they survived a backs-to-the-wall first 45 minutes, the visitors conceded an equaliser following a very debatable penalty decision which left Ince incensed.
He said: “You want a bit of help but we have amateur referees making decisions. We just want a bit of help.
“I’ve seen the first penalty decision and it was a absolute joke. The lad’s dived.
“If there was any contact (from emergency centre-half Jack Robinson) it was outside the box. The lad took two steps and then dived in the box.
“When the referee blew the whistle, I thought he was going to give a dive and a yellow card.
“It was a poor, poor refereeing decision and that was the defining moment for me.”
Pool were without the suspendedKirk Broadfoot, Ricardo Fuller and Gary MacKenzie – all dismissed at Yeovil – while Craig Cathcart once again missed out through injury.
And that’s why Ince wasn’t too angry about his side’s display, despite admitting they were poor.
“You have to understand we had a back four with players all playing out of position,” he said. “We were also playing a very good Derby side away.
“It was nice to get the early goal. Overall we weren’t very good but we tried our best.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see any team in this division have to play a back four like I did on Saturday.
“I even thought about putting Osbourne in there but he said he’d never played there in his life.
“This is where we are at. But the game was changed with the defining moment – a poor refereeing decision.”