Riga’s salute to Seasiders spirit

Jacob Mellis in action for Blackpool on Saturday
Jacob Mellis in action for Blackpool on Saturday
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Jose Riga says he’s proud of his Blackpool players, despite the opening day defeat.

First half goals from Michail Antonio and Chris Burke saw a depleted Pool side lose 2-0, despite a spirited fightback in the second half.

Riga handed full debuts to nine new signings, with only David Perkins and Tony McMahon surviving from last season.

And taking the squad problems into consideration, the Belgian boss was full of praise for his side.

He said: “I’m proud of the performance of my players, particularly in the circumstances.

“In the second half I thought they did very well.

“The behaviour, commitment and team spirit were all excellent.

“We knew it would be difficult for us but the players tried to stay in the game and to improve.

Blackpool were under pressure in the opening half, with a sell-out Forest crowd welcoming new boss Stuart Pearce in full voice.

But after conceding two goals in five minutes, Riga’s men settled down and played some fine football. And while he was pleased with the effort, Riga added that he’s never satisfied with a defeat.

“I’m never happy when we don’t win a game and when we can’t compete as we want to,” he said.

“My obsession is to win football matches and we will keep working hard until we can.”