Blackpool can’t lose focus for a moment, warns Bowyer

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer
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Gary Bowyer stressed the importance of keeping clean sheets after his Blackpool side kept the ball out of the net for the third consecutive game.

The clean sheet against Cheltenham Town – their 15th of the season in the league – means Blackpool are able to boast the joint-third-best defensive record in League Two.

It came in comfortable circumstances during their 3-0 win at Bloomfield Road on Saturday but Bowyer had to remind his players to keep their focus for the full 90 minutes.

He said: “At the end I think one or two tried to give the clean sheet away, so I just reminded them how important it is to concentrate for the whole 90 minutes.

“We had to rely on Sam (Slocombe) making a couple of decent saves but overall I’m delighted to keep three clean sheets in a row.

“But we need to make sure we build on that going forward into our last two games.”

The routine win against the relegation-threatened Robins consolidated Blackpool’s position in the play-off spots. They now sit sixth and two points ahead of Mansfield in eighth with just two games remaining.

The Seasiders know a win at Notts County this weekend will go a long way to confirming a top-seven finish but, as always, Bowyer refused to look too far ahead.

“You know what I’m going to say – it’s one game at a time,” the Pool boss added.

“We’ve got a difficult game away at Notts County on Saturday and we’ll make sure we prepare properly.

“What was pleasing was the way the players adjusted to playing with a new formation because we felt we needed to stop Cheltenham at source. The formation allowed us to do that.

“We can change things around, which causes me a headache but it’s a nice headache to have.”

The Seasiders’ style of play on home turf has noticeably improved in recent games, something which can be attributed to the improving Bloomfield Road pitch.

Bowyer’s men were forced to alter their play over the New Year period, with the surface severely lacking in grass but Bowyer insists this is no longer a problem.

Bowyer said: “It’s a no- brainer, isn’t it?

“To be fair to Stan (Raby, groundsman), he’s worked ever so hard and he deserves the credit. The quality of the pitch is important to us because of the way we want to play.”

Clark Robertson’s goal against Cheltenham – thought to be the defender’s first of the season – has now been credited to Nathan Delfouneso by the EFL.

It was initially thought that Robertson’s shot had gone straight in for the second goal but replays showed the ball was accidentally deflected in off the Blackpool forward.