Riga hails players and fans after first point

Nathan Delfouneso in action against Wolves on Saturday
Nathan Delfouneso in action against Wolves on Saturday
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Jose Riga was delighted with Pool’s fans and players after they accrued their first point just days after the Belgian’s future was cast into serious doubt.

The Seasiders players and their manager were applauded off by supporters after a 0-0 draw with high-flying Wolves ended a run of six successive defeats in all competitions to start the season.

Riga looked destined to be moving on from the club this week as chairman Karl Oyston questioned his professionalism before meeting Burton’s Gary Rowett about his post.

However, after clinging on to the helm he has held for less than 100 days, Riga’s players responded to the strife with a spirited performance which delighted their manager.

“I have always said the same message to them - we have to do something together,” he said.

“It’s a normal reaction. I told them from day one that, even in our situation, maybe we can get through these difficulties all together and get results.”

Although Riga’s future is clouded in uncertainty ahead of Watford’s visit on Tuesday night, the fact his name was chanted by supporters at the final whistle was a clear sign they want him to stay.

The former Charlton boss admits there is already a strong bond between himself and the Blackpool fans, which was what he hoped for when first assuming the role.

“I think that the feeling I have from day one is that they are really behind us and they can recognise when you work hard to get something,” he acknowledged.

“I just focus on my job as manager and they know it. I am happy again to give back to them.”

Kenny Jackett’s Wolves would have gone top with a win and they came closest in the first half when Rajiv van La Parra’s cross-cum-shot struck a post.

But the hosts also hit the woodwork through Nile Ranger and Jackett thought Riga’s men earned their point.

“They’ve drawn 0-0 at home and they’ve been applauded off,” he said.

“The supporters are right behind the players and the manager and you could see it in the spirit that the players have shown. They showed fantastic spirit in their defending and in their heart.”

The draw ended a run of three successive victories for Wolves and Jackett knows they need to score more goals if they are to maintain their place in the upper echelons.

“We need a really accurate assessment of where we are, what we’ve got and what we need to make up,” he added.

“We’ve come into this division and played some very good football and we would like to be able to score more goals.”