Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer refused to blame Jimmy Ryan or Curtis Tilt for the Seasiders’ 2-1 defeat at Southend United.
Tilt made two errors which led to both of Southend’s goals, while Ryan could have snatched a point from the penalty spot in added time after Kyle Vassell had halved the deficit early in the second half.
However, Seasiders captain Ryan saw his spot-kick pushed away by home keeper Mark Oxley.
However, rather than play the blame game and hang them out to dry, Bowyer preferred to dwell on their performances so far this season.
He said: “Obviously when you get the penalty at the death, it gives you a chance to take something from the game.
“However, the goalie has made a hell of a save from Jimmy Ryan. He’s made a hell of a save from Vass (Vassell) in the first half and a hell of a save from Clark (Robertson) in the second half.
“We have come up against a very experienced team with a good budget – if you look at the players on the pitch – and we had a right go second half after gifting them two goals, which is what we have done.
“It’s a learning curve for a couple of our players but we had a go and I was pleased with the way we did that.
“However, we can’t come here and give these type of players a two-goal start.”
Tilt’s errors contributed to goals for Anthony Wordsworth and Simon Cox in each half, leaving Bowyer’s players with the proverbial mountain to climb.
Vassell brought them back into the game with his fifth of the season before the Seasiders threw the kitchen sink at their hosts.
All that hard work came to nothing but Bowyer was happy at the way his players responded to their adversity.
“We said at half-time that we didn’t want to leave here without showing what we are about and I was pleased we showed that in the second half,” he said.
“However, it’s no good showing fight when we give them two goals. That’s the disappointing thing for me.
“Tilty’s had two very similar headers; the first one he’s headed out for a corner and the second he’s let bounce, which you can’t do. It’s a schoolboy cliche – you don’t let the ball drop if you are a defender.
“It’s his first mistake in 11 games, though. He’s been magnificent and will be again but this game has a great way of keeping you level. Jimmy will be the first to say not to feel sorry for him. “He’s led us brilliantly and showed strength of character to take the penalty.”
There seemed to be some chat between Ryan and at least one team-mate over who would take it. Bowyer said: “I didn’t see that. I know who the penalty-taker is and that’s Jimmy Ryan.”