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On-field focus buoys Blackpool boss Bowyer

Sean Longstaff gave Blackpool the lead at Bury before George Miller's late equaliser
Sean Longstaff gave Blackpool the lead at Bury before George Miller's late equaliser

Gary Bowyer praised his Blackpool players for being able to ignore the club’s off-the-field drama despite their inability to pick up a much-needed three points.

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Blackpool laboured to a 1-1 draw at bottom-of-the-table Bury on Saturday, where George Miller’s late goal cancelled out Sean Longstaff’s long-range effort.

Despite the poor result, Bowyer was happy with how his players blocked out the news of Karl Oyston’s sacking as chairman of the football club.

Oyston, who had been at the helm for 19 years, was removed from his post on Friday night by his father Owen as the family feud continues to escalate ahead of today’s crucial court hearing.

The Oystons have requested more time to pay the second £10m installment to former director Valeri Belokon, having missed last week’s deadline.

When asked for his reaction on the news of Karl Oyston’s sacking, Bowyer said: “I said all along, from day one when I got here, I can’t control things above me.

“The decision has been made, but credit to the players they’ve not been distracted by it as you can tell with the level of their performance.”

Blackpool were roared on by a boisterous away following at Gigg Lane, and it looked as though the 963 fans were going to be sent home celebrating three points when Longstaff fired home from 25 yards out in the 53rd minute to put Pool in front.

But the Seasiders were the masters of their own downfall once again.

A litany of defensive mistakes allowed substitute Miller to level just seven minutes from time.

It means Bowyer’s side have won just one of their last 12 games and now just sit two points ahead of the relegation places.

“The supporters were brilliant, they were fantastic for us,” the Pool boss added. “The backing makes a hell of a difference.

“We spoke at half-time, somebody go and score the winner in front of them and you saw the scenes when the goal goes in.

“We had a wonderful following, they made a hell of a noise, but we should have sent them home celebrating a fantastic goal from Sean Longstaff.

“Unfortunately our Achilles heel caught up with us again with an individual mistake and we get punished for it. We’ve got to stop it.”

Saturday’s game was played on a quagmire of a pitch, making passing football extremely difficult although Blackpool tried their best to play out from the back.

The Gigg Lane pitch was in a poor state ahead of kick off and looked just as bad, if not worse, than the Bloomfield Road surface last week which saw Pool’s game against Charlton Athletic postponed.

But referee Jeremy Simpson deemed the pitch playable and went ahead with the game.

“It was brilliant (that the game was on), fair play,” Bowyer said.

“In this day and age where society is going mad, political correctness is going mad, what’s wrong with the pitch?

“It’s muddy, it’s wet, well get on with it. Last week we had one called off, this week it goes ahead. So I was fine with it.”