Blackpool's gift-wrapped goals have to stop says Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson says his Blackpool side must stop gifting goals to opposition teams and giving themselves an uphill challenge.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
Simon Grayson's Blackpool have taken just two points from their last seven League One games

READ MORE: Grayson reveals why Gnanduillet and Feeney were dropped at Wycombe

It comes after the Seasiders found themselves two goals down after just eight minutes in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.

Both were avoidable efforts – Nick Freeman prodded home after Pool had failed to clear their lines, then Alex Samuel slotted beyond Mark Howard after getting in behind the backline far too easily.

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While debutant Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall did net a consolation four minutes from time, it wasn’t enough to stop Grayson’s men from slipping to a fifth defeat in six league outings.

The manager said: “We were second to every ball for the first 10 to 15 minutes, then things dropped to them and they finished them off well.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re bright and alert, especially when we’re taking on a team like Wycombe, who you know are going to be on the front foot, play with a high intensity and win second balls.

“You can’t gift teams the opportunity to score two goals because you’re giving yourself a massive challenge to get anything out of the game.

“It’s certainly something we’ve got to look at and we’ve got to work even harder to put it right.”

Blackpool delivered their worst 45-minute display of the season in the opening half at Adams Park. The Chairboys came hurtling out of the blocks, while the Seasiders looked at sixes and sevens across the park and were fortunate to only go 2-0 down.

The men in tangerine improved in the second half but are without a win in nine games since beating Fleetwood Town on December 7.

“It was two contrasting performances,” Grayson said. “In the first half we never started at all. We allowed them to dominate the game and they got the two early goals.

“It was nothing the players weren’t expecting because we gave them the presentation. We showed them how they’re always on the front foot, how they get it up to the strikers and win their second balls.

“But we just didn’t deal with it, for whatever reason, and didn’t start the game well enough.

“That can come down to a mental state from the players but we can’t blame what happened prior to the game because they came out of the traps far quicker than us.

“They won second balls and even our passing was slack. It was wishy-washy.

“Sometimes when you’re under pressure you can’t keep playing little 10-yard passes. You’ve got to drop it into your striker and play from there to get yourself a little bit of a breather.

“In the second half at least the players had a go. We looked a different team, got on the front foot more and enjoyed more opportunities. They were hanging on in the last 20 minutes.”