No gaffer? No problem for Gilks

Blackpool's Matthew Gilks
Blackpool's Matthew Gilks
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Paul Ince’s absence made no difference to the Seasiders on Saturday, according to goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

Blackpool moved up to fifth in the Championship thanks to the 1-0 home win over Wigan, while their manager watched the game on TV at home as he started a five-match stadium ban for violent conduct towards a match official.

It meant Ince couldn’t speak to his team ahead of the Bloomfield Road game but Gilks insisted this had no impact.

“It’s wasn’t any different, to be honest,” said the Seasiders no.1.

“We went through all the usual build-up. The manager does all the preparation in the week and he was in constant communication with the bench.

“We also had Thommo (Steve Thompson) and Alex Rae on the bench barking orders, so it was fine.

“Al and the gaffer are both very passionate about what they do. They obviously want us to do well.

“Like the manager says, it’s down to us when we cross the white line anyway. Whether he’s here or not, it’s down to us on the pitch.”

Gilks has now kept three clean sheets in a row and six in the Seasiders’ opening 12 games.

It’s a fantastic record, though the Scotland international is quick to praise the players in front of him.

He said: “The back four and myself have been playing together all season and we have been defending really well.

“We maybe rode our luck a little bit at times on Saturday but you need that sometimes. Thankfully we managed to keep them out.”

Gilks had to be at his best to keep out Marc-Antoine Fortuné’s late effort, a save which would prove to be a match-winner.

“It was close but luckily he hit it close to me,” Gilks explained. “With it being so close, if he had hit it either side of me I would probably have been struggling.

“It’s about getting something on it and getting your body in the way.

“Thankfully I did and Cathers (Craig Cathcart) was there to clear it.”

The defeat at Millwall last month is all that blights a superb start and Gilks thinks Pool could be on to something good.

“It was a great win on Saturday,” he said. “It was another game we knew would be tough, a bit like Reading and Watford. Again we’ve managed to come away with a 1-0 scoreline.

“We created a lot of chances on Saturday, which is something we probably hadn’t been doing in recent matches.

“We could have maybe made it two or three in the end.

“We are defending well and now creating chances, so that’s a recipe for good things. We just have to keep going and we’ll see what happens.”