Appy pleased with ‘huge point’

Nathan Delfouneso
Nathan Delfouneso
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MICHAEL Appleton thinks Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace was a huge result for the Seasiders.

His side were a goal behind going into the last minute of normal time, when substitute Nouha Dicko popped up to earn the Seasiders a point.

Pool were desperate not to lose against a side managed by their former boss Ian Holloway, and so Appleton said the players treated the point like a win.

The Seasiders boss said: “It’s a huge point for the players and they know that.

“They came back into the dressing room as if they’d won the game. It was a big, big point. Palace are a good side and aren’t up there in the league by fluke. They have a lot of quality all over the pitch. We were delighted.”

The point lifts Pool one place to 11th in the Championship table, four points off the play-off zone.

Nathan Delfouneso gave Pool a half-time lead before goals from Glenn Murray and Owen Garvin looked to have handed the points to Holloway’s men.

But Pool showed real character as Dicko fired his fifth goal of the season at the death.

The scorer removed his top and ran 80 yards after scoring. His celebrations earned Dicko a booking but his boss didn’t seem too concerned.

Appleton added: “I was joking with Nouha that I’ve never seen him move so quickly. Maybe he’s quicker than I thought.

“He’s making a habit of getting vital goals now. Two weeks running he’s made, got himself into a good position in the box and scored. Nouha took his goal really well and looked delighted with it.”

“I have to say there was some terrific build-up play by Wes Thomas. I thought he was outstanding again.”

Blackpool dominated much of the first half at Palace and were unlucky not to lead by more than one goal at the break.

But it was a different story in the second period, with Holloway’s men turning on the style and putting Pool under real pressure.

Appleton said: “I think Crystal Palace will be delighted with their second-half performance.

“From our point of view, we are a little bit disappointed we didn’t take the opportunities that came in the first half. We probably could and should have finished them off in the first half.

“It was an entertaining game and probably a decent result in the end.

“It was a terrific first-half performance. We knew that if we started well we’d give ourselves a real chance.

“We tried to play in their half and get the ball to our strikers as quickly as we could to play off them.

“We played some really nice stuff and there was some nice interchange between our front players.

“We got in time and time again. We just weren’t clinical enough. That’s what we need to work on improving.”

Appleton gambled on Saturday with a change to his back-four.

He switched Kirk Broadfoot and Alex Baptiste, a move which saw skipper Baptiste operate at right-back and go head-to-head with Palace’s highly-rated winger Wilfried Zaha.

The boss said: “Apart from the two goals we conceded, I thought we defended really well.

“I thought Kirk did really well in the middle and Baps was outstanding at full-back.

“We wanted Baps to do a job on Zaha and Bolasie, but I thought he was a real threat going forward too.”