Back to work on set-pieces for frustrated Blackpool boss

Viv Solomon-Otabor scores Blackpool's first goal
Viv Solomon-Otabor scores Blackpool's first goal

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer lamented his side’s defending as the Seasiders slipped to their third League One defeat on the spin.

Bowyer’s side found themselves on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at Bloomfield Road, where Portsmouth snatched the points. Their three goals were avoidable from Pool’s point of view, with striker Brett Pitman snatching a brace, including the 87th-minute winner.

Pool keeper Ryan Allsop produced two superb stops only for his defenders to leave Pitman unmarked in their six-yard box – and the striker made no mistake on either occasion.

The Seasiders have suffered back-to-back defeats at Bloomfield Road and have slipped into the lower half of the table.

Bowyer said: “We had a lot of possession again but the manner of the goals we conceded was very disappointing.

“We’ve done a lot of work on set-pieces and spoke about it during the week, but we obviously need to do a bit more this week.

“We knew that Portsmouth would get the ball into our box from set-pieces but we just didn’t defend them well enough.

“The frustrating thing is that every time we went down we showed the spirit, the character and the togetherness to get back in it.

“Even when we conceded the third goal we were still pushing and pushing and having a go at the death. That’s the positive from it.

“The disappointment is we’ve had to work really hard for our goals while the opposition haven’t.”

The defeat brought an end to a momentous week for the football club after the Pool’s owners, the Oyston family, were ordered to pay Valeri Belokon £31.27m following the judgement of a bitter High Court case.

That led to the club being put up for sale on Friday.

Hundreds of fans gathered at The Excelsior pub prior to the game for an Extraordinary General Meeting hosted by Blackpool Supporters’ Trust.

The news of the club being put on the market came on the same day the Seasiders also announced the signing of Angolan forward Dolly Menga.

The 24-year-old made an immediate impact on his debut by delivering a pinpoint cross with his first touch to set up Viv Solomon-Otabor to tap home.

“When you reflect on it he’s been our big positive,” the Pool boss added.

“He wasn’t Man of the Match so I don’t know who gave him that. Whoever it is needs to have a word with themselves because Curtis Tilt was outstanding again. But that’s a separate issue.

“He came on and influenced the game like we know he can, he just needs to get fitter now.”