Lee Clark was frustrated his Blackpool team could not hold on for victory over Bolton but he is delighted with their progress.
Lee Clark was frustrated his Blackpool team could not hold on for victory over Bolton but he is delighted with their progress, writes WILLIAM WATT.
Wideman Lee Chung-Yong capitalised on a sloppy David Perkins clearance to earn the Trotters a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road, forcing Clark to settle for two points from his four games in charge.
And although the club remains 10 points from Championship safety, Clark was pleased with the afternoon’s work.
The Pool boss said: “Frustrated is probably the word I’d use as I thought we deserved all three points. There was a clear improvement in all aspects of our I game: the fitness, and the work behind the ball and with it as well.
“We were exciting at times and created chances. It was just a shame we couldn’t take three points but we took a lot of positives.
“The game plan in the second half was not to get caught because Bolton have some very good players who can hurt you. We allowed them plenty of ball but they weren’t able to break us down.
“It was only our error which allowed them their equaliser, so that was frustrating.”
Clark was forced into a change of plan after just 23 minutes, when midfielder Jacob Mellis was forced off with a hamstring injury.
The manager added: “It was a blow because he’d been playing really well and was important in the system we were playing.
“But I thought the new players adapted brilliantly. I’m delighted with what the players gave me but that’s the minimum standard now. Hopefully we can now go one better at Rotherham.”
Two key moments in the game left all eyes on referee Andy Haines. First Pool keeper Joe Lewis could have received a red card when he raced out of the his to foul Craig Davies (he was shown yellow), then replays suggested Bolton’s equaliser could have been offside.
Clark said of the latter: “I think that when Matt Mills did the overhead kick, Chung-Yong was actually offside but there’s contention over phases of play. As for the first-half incident with Joe, yes, I thought it was a foul.
“It was down to the referee to decide whether Craig Davies was in control of the ball when it happened. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been a red.
“But it was of our own making – I’m not a fan of passing the ball back from halfway when you don’t have to.”
Like Clark, Bolton boss Neil Lennon was also unhappy at not leaving Bloomfield Road with three points.
The Trotters boss said: “I’m disappointed that we haven’t come here and won with the form that we’ve been showing.
“I think that’s a measure of where we’ve come so quickly.
“You have to remember that Blackpool are scrapping for their lives and there is a structure to the way that Lee has them set up.”