Bowyer seeks a different Seasiders mentality

Oxford United score their late goal against Blackpool on Saturday
Oxford United score their late goal against Blackpool on Saturday

Downbeat Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has called on his players to adopt a ruthless mentality and enjoy putting teams to the sword.

As has been the case several times this season, the Seasiders were made to pay for a string of missed chances in their 1-0 defeat at Oxford United on Saturday.

Pool were far the better side and controlled much of the game, but found Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood in mercurial form as he made at least four vital stops inbetween the sticks.

And while Oxford offered very little, they remained a threat on the counter attack and from set pieces.

It was from the latter where Jon Obika headed past Christoffer Mafoumbi to snatch the three points for the hosts.

“It was the manner of the free-kick and the way it was conceded that really annoyed me,” Bowyer said afterwards.

“It was a stupid foul from Kelvin (Mellor).

“We’ve found a way of playing all season and they’ve stuck to it and played ever so well.

“They did that again here but we’ve come across a goalkeeper that was in unbelievable form.

“I know him personally so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s made those saves.

“But we’ve had over 55 per cent of possession, we’ve had more goal attempts, more corners and more shots on target.

“We’re not ruthless enough. It might be because we’re a bit young but we’ve quickly got to get a mentality of actually going out and winning games of football.

“We’ve got to enjoy putting teams to bed, because we should have been out of sight.

“You’ve got to keep going, even when you don’t put your chances away. Perhaps that’s the mentality of some of our players – they feel sorry for themselves and don’t actually do something about it.

“They’ve got to go and make it happen. It’s got to change quickly.”

For all of Blackpool’s dominance, they looked a dead and buried team when Obika’s header nestled in the corner of their net just seven minutes from time.

Bowyer’s men struggled to put the home side under any sort of pressure in the final stages and Oxford eventually eased their way to the final whistle.

The Pool boss added: “The level of performance was very good. But throughout periods of games, some players take the easy way out and they can’t do it for 90 minutes.

“When they decide not to, we’re getting punished for it and rightly so. You can’t cheat the game.

“One or two of us went and played what you’d call ‘schoolboy football’ in the sense that they were still trying to put little passes together, instead of putting it in the box and putting them under pressure.

“Again, that’s what we’ve got to learn and quickly.

“It’s a hugely disappointed dressing room. To come here and play the way we have but not to take anything home with us, minimum a point, is hard to take I’m afraid.”