Blackpool boss ready for a reaction

Kyle Vassell scores for Blackpool
Kyle Vassell scores for Blackpool

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer was an unhappy man after watching his players surrender their seven-match unbeaten run in League One.

The Seasiders had gone to Bristol Rovers in the hope of making it eight without defeat.

That hope was given early impetus by Kyle Vassell’s 12th-minute opener as the striker gave Pool the lead with his third goal in two outings.

Rather than kick on, however, and silence a frustrated home support, Bowyer’s players turned in a lacklustre display for much of Saturday’s 90 minutes at the Memorial Stadium.

That was punished by Billy Bodin’s 40th-minute leveller before Ryan Sweeney put the hosts in front on 84 minutes and Ellis Harrison wrapped up victory in added time.

With Rochdale the visitors to Bloomfield Road tomorrow, Bowyer wants to see a response.

“I thought we had a great start with a great finish from Vass (Vassell),” the manager said.

“We then stopped playing and we spoke about it at half-time.

“The first goal was a poor goal from our point of view in terms of how easily they went past us in midfield. It was far too easy.

“I was disappointed with the reaction in the second half.

“We were on the back foot a little bit but, apart from both goals, I don’t think there was much action in both goalmouths.

“When you get done with the second phase of a set play for their second goal, then that is disappointing.”

“It’s a wake-up call for us. They are a young team and maybe one or two were getting carried away.

“We had stressed all week that there’s something waiting around the corner to bring them back down to earth.

“The third goal came when we were chasing the game but that can happen.”

Vassell’s goal and an opening half-hour which the Seasiders bossed had caused a number of Rovers fans to vent their anxiety at the way their players were performing.

Once they got back on level terms, however, those home supporters provided a noisy backing for their team.

Bowyer didn’t believe his players were fazed by that level of support.

“We’ve been to Bradford and other places where the fans are passionate,” he said.

“In the first half, they were edgy.”

Bowyer finds himself on a three-man shortlist for this year’s Northwest Football Awards manager of the year prize.

The Seasiders’ boss is up against Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and his Bolton Wanderers counterpart Phil Parkinson for the award.

Bowyer is up for the award after guiding the club to promotion in his first season in charge at Bloomfield Road.

Parkinson was also a promotion winner with Wanderers last season, finishing second in League One.

Mourinho, for his part, capped his first season at Old Trafford by lifting the League Cup and Europa League.

The winner will be announced at this year’s ceremony, which takes place at Lancashire County Cricket Club on Monday November 13.