Donervon Daniels backs Blackpool to show mental strength and bounce back at Bristol Rovers

Donervon Daniels tried to give Blackpool width against Oxford
Donervon Daniels tried to give Blackpool width against Oxford
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Donervon Daniels admits  Blackpool “played into the hands” of Oxford United but the defender is confident of bouncing back at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

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Pool’s seven-match unbeaten run ended with last weekend’s 1-0 home loss to the ‘U’s but Daniels said: “We’ve had a few good runs throughout the season and when they come to an end you just get your head back up and keep going.
“I think everybody knows the mental strength we have as a squad, so this isn’t really going to faze us.
“It’s frustrating for everyone involved but we’re a strong bunch on and off the pitch and we’ll just dust ourselves down, talk about it collectively and go again.”
The Seasiders stuck with the diamond formation that had proved successful at Charlton Athletic, where they drew 0-0.
But it didn’t prove as effective against Oxford, who boosted their survival hopes with a first win on the road since April 2018.
Prior to the match, Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips had identified that Oxford were susceptible from crosses, yet he still put his faith in the narrow diamond system.
This left the full-backs Daniels and Nick Anderton as the only outlets out wide, resulting in a lot of Blackpool’s attacking play coming through the middle.
Daniels said: “It was a frustrating game and a frustrating result, not the one we were looking for and hoping for. There were some good bits, though.
“They put an amazing free-kick into our net but I don’t think they did anything to really challenge us.
“We were probably a little bit off our game in terms of moving the ball and how quickly we did it compared to normal.
“We had waves of pressure and put some balls in the box, but we never brought the best out of their keeper and that was frustrating.
“I think a lack of creativity is a strong way of putting it. We had a lot of the ball if you check the stats, and I think the way we went out there to play almost played into their hands by playing through the middle.
“It felt like our best chances would come from the outside. But our system, the diamond, almost played into their hands, in the first half especially.
“When we realised second half we started to hit the diagonals from Tilty (Curtis Tilt) or Ben (Heneghan), or when (Harry) Pritchard dropped to get the ball from deep. That opened up the midfield. While I thought we had a lot of the ball, we never had that cutting-edge clinicalness.”