Bowyer wants Blackpool to prove powers of recovery

Eddie Nolan
Eddie Nolan
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Gary Bowyer has called on his Blackpool squad to step up to the plate over the festive period and prove the defeat by Luton was nothing more than a blip.

That 2-0 reversal at the hands of the Hatters last Saturday was only Pool’s second defeat at home this season and brought an end to their nine-game unbeaten run at Bloomfield Road.

They now face a run of three games in eight days to make amends, starting at Hartlepool on Boxing Day.

The Pool boss is confident his men can bounce back from defeat with a victory, just as they did after losing to Mansfield and Accrington Stanley earlier in the season.

Bowyer said: “The most important thing is that we recover and go again. This has just been a blip and we’ve got to prove that.

“We’ve always responded ever so well after defeats and it’s up to us to do that again.”

Bowyer admitted the Seasiders were second-best against Luton and deserved nothing from the game, with the defeat seeing them drop out of the play-off zone and down to eighth in League Two.

But asked if Luton were the best side Pool have faced so far this season, he remarked: “I didn’t think it was a particularly great or cutting game. On reflection, Portsmouth probably came here and played more football.

“Luton are obviously a decent enough side and you can see why they’re in the play-offs.

“It was a disappointing performance from us, though. I thought their goalkeeper made three good saves, two in particular were very good when there wasn’t much in the game.

“But overall we’ve not hit the standards that we’ve been on.”

Blackpool were forced into a last-minute change for Saturday’s game, with full-back Kelvin Mellor missing out through illness.

It handed Eddie Nolan the chance to make his first League appearance of the season and the defender put in a solid display.

Bowyer said: “Kelvin rang in sick on the morning of the game, which threw us completely as we had prepared the team the day before.

“But Eddie stepped in, and after a first five or 10 minutes of nerves he stepped in ever so well.”

Blackpool’s League Two match at home to Crawley Town has been rearranged for Tuesday February 7, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The game was originally due to be played on Saturday January 7 but has been rescheduled because Pool are in FA Cup third round action against Barnsley that day.

Blackpool FC players will be signing autographs and posing for pictures this afternoon at the Young Seasiders’ Christmas Party.

The Bloomfield Road event begins at 4pm.