Blackpool boss Simon Grayson backs Rocky Bushiri to learn from mistakes

Rocky Bushiri had a mixed night on his Bloomfield Road debut
Rocky Bushiri had a mixed night on his Bloomfield Road debut
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Simon Grayson says Blackpool fans will need to stay patient with Rocky Bushiri and expect the defender to make the odd mistake.

READ MORE: Matt Scrafton's verdict on Carabao Cup defeat
The 19-year-old struggled a little on his first Blackpool start on Tuesday, netting an own goal in the Carabao Cup tie against Macclesfield Town, who won on penalties.

Given Bushiri’s inexperience, manager Grayson says it’s no surprise the on-loan Norwich City man is not the finished article quite yet.

The Pool boss said: “We’ve been watching him since he’s been at the club and he’s going to be like that. He’s going to make the odd mistake because he’s young and he’s enthusiastic but he’s also got a lot of good qualities.

“He’s a little bit rash at times hence he’s had an eventful night, picking up a yellow card and scoring an own goal. But he was also composed on the ball and defended well.

“I thought he responded really well in the second half and didn’t really have too many issues to deal with.

“He will learn from this as will a few other players.”

Bushiri wasn’t the only summer signing to make his first start for the club, with striker Ryan Hardie also getting his first taste of action in a tangerine shirt.

The striker endured a frustrating debut and missed two or three presentable chances.

Grayson added: “They had three centre-backs against him, so there wasn’t much space for him to run into the channels.

“We had to find different ways of trying to break them down because they do get compact. We watched their last two games and they’ve been exactly like that.

“Ryan is a good player but he didn’t have too many opportunities. The one he did have the keeper made a good save.

“But, like Rocky, he’s another player who will benefit from his first start in a tangerine shirt.”

After being knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the first round, Pool return to league action at Bloomfield Road on Saturday against an Oxford United team likely to give Grayson’s men their sternest test to date.

Karl Robinson’s team have begun the campaign in positive fashion, earning four points from two games.

“That’s the game we all want to win,” Grayson said. “We wanted to get through in the cup and we wanted to see who we would get in the next round, but it’s all about Saturday now.

“We will get the players rested up and recovered, and we will try to maintain the position we’re in in the league with another good performance.

“We know we’ve got a tough task in front of us but we will do everything we can to get a result.”