Riga: We just aren’t ready

Ishmael Miller was Blackpool's one bright spark last night
Ishmael Miller was Blackpool's one bright spark last night
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Jose Riga said his side deserved their defeat at Shrewsbury, where they crashed out of the Capital One Cup last night.

A first-half strike by former Seasiders frontman Scott Vernon was enough to see the League Two side through on another poor evening for new-look Pool.

Again blighted by a host of selection problems, boss Riga handed debuts to five players but it wasn’t enough, despite a more promising second half.

And Riga told The Gazette he had no arguments with the result.

“I have to say the best team won,” he admitted. “I expected the game to be difficult for us just three days after the game against Forest, and that’s exactly what it proved to be.

“It wasn’t just the technical side of the game we struggled with a little bit but the physical side too.

“We had many problems but that was totally understandable.

“We simply aren’t ready and this will take time.”

In the build-up to the game, Riga had described the visit to Greenhous Meadow as a tie he “could do without”, with Pool so short on numbers and fitness after a torrid summer.

And nothing he saw last night changed his opinion.

The Pool boss added: “The game arrived at the worst moment for us but I suppose it was a step closer to being fit.

“I thought Shrewsbury did well. They are a good team.

“It was a very difficult night but I knew it would be.

“I thought we missed energy. We were second to the ball in a lot of cases.”

Pool’s improvement in the second half owed much to the introduction of striker Ishmael Miller, though they never looked likely to turn the tie around.

“We had a bit of a reaction after the break and it was better, but it wasn’t enough,” Riga confessed.

“We have a lot of work to do on and off the pitch. I’ll just keep trying to do what I can to find a solution to our problems.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom in the post-match press conference, with Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon delighted by his side’s display.

The former Pool midfielder and Fleetwood boss took charge of the Shrews in the summer and quickly added 16 new faces.

And he felt his side were worthy winners. “We are very pleased to beat a Championship side,” he said, “but what I’m more pleased about is the performance.

“From minute one we were so composed and passed the ball really well. It was a terrific goal and I think we could have had a few more.

“If we’d got two, three or four I don’t think it would have flattered us, so that was really pleasing.

“We managed to keep a clean sheet as well. There was an awful lot to be pleased about for us.”