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Cup win over QPR shows strength in depth at Blackpool says McPhillips

Blackpool celebrate Armand Gnanduillet's opener against QPR
Blackpool celebrate Armand Gnanduillet's opener against QPR

Terry McPhillips says Blackpool’s League Cup win over QPR shows the competition for places in the Seasiders squad.

READ MORE: Blackpool 2 QPR 0
Pool caused an upset by knocking their Championship opponents out with a fully deserved 2-0 win at Bloomfield Road, Armand Gnanduillet and Jay Spearing claiming the goals.

McPhillips made five changes from Saturday’s stalemate with Luton Town as Blackpool eased through to the last 16 for the first time since 2007, extending their unbeaten run to 11 games in the process.

The Pool boss said: “We were disappointed with our performance on Saturday, especially the first half. That was the worst we’ve been on this run we’re on.

“I thought we’d get a response but you never know. We made five changes and they were all brilliant. We were good and it just shows the competition for places.

“Ben Heneghan has had some cracking performances of late, so there’s tough competition there in defence. Paudie O’Connor was really unlucky not to play in either of the last two games.

“I think all the other outfield subs have got on and Paudie could have had a start, but he’s just got to keep going and wait for his chance.

“The left-back (Marc Bola) has done superb. Ollie Turton has done well at right-back but Notts (Michael Nottingham) has come in and done great. There’s competition all over.

“Callum Guy was superb. In fact, the midfield three were all really good. The wide men and Armand were a handful too.”

Blackpool, who will find out their fourth round opponents on Saturday night, opened the scoring late in the first half thanks to Gnanduillet’s close-range effort.

QPR, who never seriously tested Mark Howard in the Blackpool goal, were reduced to 10 men for the final 20 minutes after Jordan Cousins was shown a second yellow, then Spearing made sure of the win in the last minute.

Blackpool had to deal with a physical onslaught from QPR, who committed 22 fouls in total, 18 of those in a whistle-ridden first half.

McPhillips added: “It would have been nice to get that second goal a bit earlier but to a man, including all the subs, we were brilliant.

“It’s no secret that sticking it in the net has been a problem for us, but we’ve kept another clean sheet against a team that made a lot of changes but still had good players who have gone for big money in the past.

“It’s a massive club in the Championship but you can only concentrate on our lads and I thought we were superb.

“It was a physical game but we dealt with that well. I thought we kept our discipline. They booted us all over the place to be fair.

“I never felt really threatened but you never know when it’s 1-0. But the game-management was superb from the lads and we saw it through well.”