Riga: We have big, big, big difficulties

Blackpool manager Jos� Riga speaks to his players during a break in play on Saturday
Blackpool manager Jos� Riga speaks to his players during a break in play on Saturday
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Jose Riga vowed to continue to try to do his job as Blackpool manager despite what he called the “big, big, big difficulties” which left him with only nine registered players on Saturday morning.

The manager watched his side go down 2-0 in his first match in charge at Nottingham Forest, a game overshadowed by yet more off-field drama.

Riga was able to name only two senior substitutes at the City Ground, one of them a goalkeeper, after registration problems left six of his 21 travelling squad unavailable.

The boss revealed he received a call on the morning of the game to say only nine senior players were registered, with secretary Chris Hough having rush through a few more at the last minute.

Jose Miguel Cubero is yet to be granted a work permit, while left-back Joan Oriol has no international clearance and Jeffery Rentmeister and Joel Dielna were ineligible because they signed after Friday’s noon deadline.

It was the absence of Ishmael Miller which caused the biggest stir, the striker’s registration forms not having reached the Football League in time even though he signed on Wednesday.

Pool also were left sweating over striker Sergei Zenjov, who was only cleared to play moments before Saturday’s teamsheet was handed in at 2pm.

The club blamed a “technical problem” for Miller’s unavailability and it was left for Riga to explain.

He told The Gazette: “On Saturday morning I received the news we only had nine players. We managed to get some more registered in the morning to have what we had during the game.

“I’m just trying to get on with doing my job, even with big, big, big difficulties.

“I’m trying to be a football manager and not solve administration problems. “It’s more about frustration for me. I’m smiling but I wasn’t happy on Saturday, mainly because I wanted to win the game.

“I expected more players to be available. I’m trying to do my best but I have limits here.”

Riga turned to youth-team pair Dom Telford and Mark Waddington to boost the bench to four, giving him very few options to change the game.

But after finally breaking a public silence which lasted almost two months, Riga insisted he won’t let the situation get him down.

He added: “There are two options in life – you can complain and be angry or just deal with it.

“If the players had seen me getting angry, then the result could have been much worse.

“If I don’t behave and respond property, I can’t expect my players to do so. “I told them we will come out of all these problems stronger.

“I’m OK. This will all make me stronger and I’ve told that to my players.”

And he promised regular interviews from now on. “I’m happy to give some interviews but people wouldn’t have wanted to hear me saying the same things all summer,” he explained.

“Hopefully in the coming we Hopefully in the coming weeks you’ll see a much happier me and hear from me much more.”