Blackpool skipper Jay Spearing on Accrington defeat, Jack Sims' debut, injury blows and tight offside call

The final third is where the problems lie for Blackpool according to captain Jay Spearing.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 10:18 am
Spearing in the thick of the action against Accrington yesterday

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Simon Grayson's verdict on Blackpool's last-gasp Boxing Day defeat to Accrington

It comes after the Seasiders recorded a blank for the second game running as they slumped to a second consecutive 1-0 defeat on home turf.

Accrington Stanley were the beneficiaries this time, snatching the three points at the death courtesy of Sean McConville's stoppage-time header.

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“It’s tough to take any time you concede that late on in a game as it gives you less time to get back in the game," Spearing said.

“I think we need to be more clinical in the final third. We’re not creating enough attacking opportunities to score goals.

“We were a threat from set pieces and I thought Jordan Thompson’s delivery was outstanding. He’s put the ball into some dangerous areas but we just couldn’t get on the end of it.

“As a team, we’re very disappointed with the last two results but there’s nothing we can do about it now.

“We’ve got another two difficult games, both away from home, so we’ve got to start picking up points again.”

One positive for the Seasiders was the unexpected senior debut handed to 20-year-old goalkeeper Jack Sims.

The youngster was introduced on 29 minutes after first-choice shot stopper Jak Alnwick was forced to withdraw with an injury to his bicep.

Pool were then forced to make another enforced change when Sullay Kaikai hobbled off with a recurrence of his pelvic issue to be replaced by Sean Scannell.

Spearing had nothing but praise for Sims, who made a couple of important stops but could have done nothing to stop McConville's last-gasp winner.

“Fair play to Jack, he came on and he did tremendously well on his debut and he deserved a round of applause for how he did," the 31-year-old said.

“He couldn’t do anything about the goal.

“The first thing he had to deal with was the cross into our box and he’s come out and commanded his box fantastically well and kept hold of the ball.

“There’s no better way to pick up some confidence for the rest of the game.

“Jack was fantastic and well done to him, but as a result we’re disappointed to lose the game especially in the manner we did right at the end.”

When asked what sort of impact those two injury setbacks in the first-half had on the game, Spearing said: “It’s part and parcel of football, people are going to pick up knocks over this festive period. But we can’t let them affect us.

“Obviously Sullay is one of our most attacking players, so he was a miss.

“Our main goalkeeper has gone but we’ve got Mark Howard who can come in or Jack Sims as well, depending on what the manager wants to do. We have people who can come in and replace him.

“Maybe Scanns (Sean Scannell) will have a chance to come in and play now depending on how good or bad the injury to Sullay is."

It could have been a different story for the Seasiders on Boxing Day had Kaikai's first-half effort not been belatedly ruled out for offside.

“We can’t blame the way the result has gone on that," Spearing added.

“On another day that might have gone our way and we would have gone 1-0 up and I think that maybe would have settled the game a bit more.

“But we still should have done more and created more chances in the final third to cause Accrington problems.

“We’ve found in the last two games that teams have come to sit back and invited us to break them down and we haven’t been able to do that. That’s something we need to work on.

“If we want to start picking up points again at home we need to find a way of breaking opposition teams down.”