Michael Appleton hoping Blackpool debutants can build on impressive start at Stoke City

Michael Appleton is hoping Blackpool’s trio of debutants can build on their promising opening day displays.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 8:30 am

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Rhys Williams, Dom Thompson and Lewis Fiorini all caught the eye during last weekend’s 1-0 win against Reading.

The newcomers will now be hoping to continue that form when Appleton’s men make the trip to Stoke City on Saturday.

“I’m happy with how they did last week,” Pool’s head coach said.

“Obviously it’s never easy but they all played their part in different ways. The fact we’ve got a clean week to prepare for Stoke will help all of them.”

Appleton added: “Dom was great. He’s like a bottle of pop, he’s 100 miles per hour which I want and I like.

“Every now and then I want him to slow down and weigh up the situation and the options, but he will be pleased with his work and I’m just delighted that first game is out of the way for him.

Dom Thompson had a debut to remember against Reading last week

“He’s got a bit of an issue, he’s a bit tight in the groin. We were aware we might have to make a change because he’s not done a full 90 yet, but the fact we’ve got a full week to recover will help him.”

While the Manchester City loanee is expected to play most of his football in a number eight position this season, playing a bit further back seemed to suit him down to a tee, getting himself into pockets of space and dictating play with his array of passing.Despite that, Appleton believes there’s still plenty of improvement to come from the 20-year-old.

“He had a lot of joy in the first-half, but I also felt he got a bit carried away,” he said.

“I spoke to him after the game because he got a bit carried away in the second-half and towards the end of the first-half.

“He started to do too many things one touch when we wanted him to get hold of the ball and relax a bit and stay calm.

“But again, he’s a 20-year-old lad playing in his first game in the Championship so it’s a great experience for him.”

Blackpool head to the bet365 Stadium looking to make it two wins from two, which would represent the perfect start to Appleton’s second stint at Bloomfield Road.

“I’m glad we hung on last week because the first half an hour alone was a good enough sign for me to know there’s real progress in this group,” he said.

“The only disappointment was that we were only 1-0 up at that time but I never really felt threatened in the first-half. There were a couple of counter-attacks on transitions where we were a little bit sloppy in possession, but I didn’t feel threatened at all.

“In the second-half, we showed a little bit of inexperience and that’s going to happen, so we have to take that on the chin until we either get senior players fit and back on the pitch or get one or two through the door.

“But for us to manage it the way we did and see it out, I’ve got to be delighted.”