Ince refuses to blame Gilks

Chris Basham celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Neil Bishop
Chris Basham celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Neil Bishop
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Paul Ince refused to point the finger at Matt Gilks after Blackpool suffered last-minute heartbreak at Middlesbrough.

Chris Basham had broken the deadlock for the Seasiders in the closing stages at the Riverside only for a mistake from Pool’s usually-reliable keeper to gift Marvin Emnes an equaliser three minutes into stoppage time.

Matthew Gilks

Matthew Gilks

Despite admitting he was gutted not to leave Teesside with three points, Ince said he won’t be blaming anyone.

“Matt was devastated after the game,” the boss revealed. “But there’s no doubt Gilo will save us more points than he costs us.

“He made a mistake and we all makes mistakes.

“One week it’s Gilks who makes a mistake, the other it might be Gary MacKenzie, another it could be Barry Ferguson. But we are a team and we make the mistakes together.

“Matt is a top-class goalkeeper and I’ve told him to keep his head up.”

Ince’s side lined-up with a much more defensive system than normal, with five midfielders protecting the back four.

Basham and Neal Bishop played out wide to combat the pace of Boro’s tricky wingers.

Ince explained: “Sometimes you can’t be as expansive as you want. Their wingers are flying machines.

“I knew Bishop would have the discipline to do the job we wanted and I think we nullified them.

“Jack Robinson looked so comfortable against (Albert) Adomah. Tactically we got it spot on. Sometimes you have to play with the personnel you have. I don’t think there was any stage in the game when they worried us. At half-time I just said that I wanted more of the same.

“I feel like it’s two points dropped. Once we got the goal I couldn’t see them scoring.

“But they threw caution to the wind. We made a mistake and give them a lifeline.”

Pool’s goal came from an unlikely source in Basham, playing just 15 minutes from his home town of Newcastle.

And Ince was delighted for the versatile midfielder. “He was over the moon to score but was gutted as he wanted it to be the winner,” the manager added.

“He deserved the goal as we’ve asked him to play out of position (wide right) and he doesn’t moan. I just wish it could have been the winner for him. The lads gave me everything. As long as I get that I’ll always be happy.”