We’re play-off underdogs, says Blackpool boss

Goalscorer Mark Cullen and his number one fna
Goalscorer Mark Cullen and his number one fna
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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer insists his side will be the underdogs for their League Two play-off semi-final against Luton Town.

It comes after the Seasiders secured seventh place in comfortable fashion on Saturday courtesy of a 3-1 home win against Leyton Orient.

Pool will take on fourth-placed Luton over two legs in their bid to play Exeter or Carlisle in the Wembley final on May 28.

The first leg takes place at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, kicking off at 6.30pm, and the return game at Kenilworth Road the following Thursday.

Bowyer is relishing the tie but admits Nathan Jones’ men go into the games as clear favourites after doing the double over Pool this season.

He said: “If anything they’ll be disappointed they haven’t got automatic promotion, so we know how difficult it will be but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Pool knew a win over relegated Orient would guarantee a top-seven finish and that never looked in doubt, with a young London side struggling to cope with their more experienced hosts.

Neil Danns gave Pool the perfect start when he headed home after just 10 minutes and Mark Cullen added a second.

Orient’s Jans Janse briefly threatened a comeback when he got a goal back shortly after the half-time break but Andy Taylor restored the two-goal lead to ensure the three points and that all-important seventh place were Blackpool’s.

Bowyer added: “We’re delighted because we knew what we needed to do and we managed to get it done.

“I thought we started the game well and we scored two very good goals. But if I had one criticism from the first half it was that we didn’t score more than the two. Being involved in the game a long time like I have, you know the opposition will always get at least one opportunity. Once they did, they scored it.

“But I was delighted with the response we showed because panic mode could have kicked in but it didn’t. That shows the learning that has taken place.

“They were calm and composed and they made sure they carried on playing the football they have all season.

“I was pleased with the professionalism we showed but I was disappointed we didn’t convert the number of chances we created, especially in the second half.

“I always want more. I always want better. We should have had better and we should have had more. But it gives us something to work on in the week leading up to Luton.”