Blackpool players take pride in their defensive dominance

Terry McPhillips says his Blackpool side take a lot of pride in their reputation as being the country’s clean sheet kings.

By Matt Scrafton
Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 9:30 am
Blackpool loan striker Elias Sorensen
Blackpool loan striker Elias Sorensen

The Seasiders have kept 16 shutouts in League One this season, which is the best record of any side in England’s top four divisions.

McPhillips has suggested Pool’s backline takes care of itself and that’s allowed him to focus on the other end of the pitch.

“I think the lads and staff are proud of it, especially the back four and the two goalies. It’s a collective,” he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“But it is impressive and I’m just hoping the lads who have been brought in can help us now to score the goals at the other end which win games.

“The defensive side of things has almost taken care of itself, so far anyway.

“I’ve looked at the other end of the pitch and I think we’ve recruited some good attacking players that will help us score some goals. But as I’ve said before, time will tell.”

One of those players who was brought into the club was Elias Sorensen on loan from Newcastle United.

However, the striker has had just 32 minutes of action since joining the Seasiders, his one appearance coming off the bench in the 2-2 draw against Wycombe Wanderers.

The 19-year-old, who joined on loan until the end of the season in January, was left out of Pool’s squad altogether last week for the stalemate at Charlton Athletic.

He did travel with the squad and also took part in the warm-up, but he was unable to make the bench because of an EFL regulation.

If a club is unable to name at least one club-developed player in their squad they’re only permitted to name six subs, which was the case for Blackpool at The Valley with Sorensen the man to miss out on a place on the bench.

Even when the Dane is named on the bench, he finds himself behind Armand Gnanduillet and Chris Long in the pecking order.

When asked about that situation, McPhillips said: “There was no issue.

“Some good players have missed out on squads. I think the week before Chris Taylor and Michael Nottingham missed out.

“If we get a couple of players back I’ll have the same problem this weekend, so I don’t know who will miss out but someone will have to.

“It’s not the nice part of the job but it is part of the job.

“I speak to the Newcastle Under-23 coach who I know anyway and he’s sound as a pound, I tell him where Elias is up to.

“They’ve had a couple of welfare officers come to watch the training.”