Pool’s attacking gamble paid off

Djamal Abdoun shirt pull on Neal Bishop earns Blackpool a first half penalty and a red card
Djamal Abdoun shirt pull on Neal Bishop earns Blackpool a first half penalty and a red card
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Blackpool abandoned their defensive caution for the first time in the Paul Ince era to claim a huge win at Nottingham Forest.

Stephen Dobbie scored the only goal two minutes into stoppage time as Pool strengthened their grip on a top-four place.

Angel Martinez challenges with former Pool star David Vaughan

Angel Martinez challenges with former Pool star David Vaughan

Forest’s Djamal Abdoun was sent off in the first half after conceding a penalty which Thomas Ince missed.

And assistant manager Alex Rae revealed Pool really went for it with a host of attacking substitutions.

Rae said: “We kept (Stephen) Dobbie, Danny (Gosling) and Thomas (Ince) on and brought (Michael) Chopra and (Steven) Davies into the mix, with the full-backs pushing forward. It’s fair to say we went for it.

“It’s about using your head at times, because we’ve got Danny vacating the midfield, Chops further forward and Dobbie, so it’s important you don’t get done with the sucker punch.

“Normally if you come to Forest and get a point it’s not the worst case scenario. I always say that if you take something on the road and make sure your home form is decent, then it’s a good formula. At the moment we are managing that.”

Having been rocked by injuries and suspensions in the build-up to the game, Pool then saw Bradley Orr limp off in the second half with a thigh strain.

And Rae said that made the win even sweeter. He added: “We’re absolutely delighted. Look at the personnel we’ve got missing, and for me Forest have one of the best squads in the division.

“I say it every week but there is a togetherness in the dressing room. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes with all the staff, as much as the players. I drove back to Scotland after the game and it makes it all worthwhile.

The red card changed the game but Pool had be much more patient despite long spells of possession.

Rae is pleased they stuck to the task and eventually earned the three points.

He said: “We tried to continue to take the game to Forest. I was getting frustrated on the touchline because we were trying to probe through the middle, where there were a lot of bodies, and I kept trying to emphasise to go wide and in behind them.

“Fair play, we kept knocking on the door and it was a great time to get the winner.

“When you consider we conceded one late last week (when Blackburn drew at Bloomfield Road), it was nice to get the three points.”

Forest boss Billy Davies criticised referee Michael Naylor for three key decisions he felt turned the course of the game.

While the Scot conceded Abdoun deserved his dismissal for a foul on Neal Bishop, he believed Darius Henderson should have had a first-half penalty and that Dobbie’s winning goal should have been ruled out.

Davies said: “I spoke to the referee and the officials because there were three very big incidents in the game – Henderson’s claim for a penalty, the red card and then the Blackpool goal.

“The officials have agreed there was contact on Henderson when he was trying to get a shot on goal.

“The question is, did Henderson intentionally make contact with the defender or did the defender make contact with him?

“I thought it was a penalty. I don’t think Henderson was trying to win a penalty when the ball was coming on to his left foot.

“There is no doubt it was a red card for Abdoun. He was a little naive. He should have cleared the ball or given it to the keeper.

“Then, having spoken to the officials, it is clear that the assistant referee’s line of vision was wrong. He could not see across the pitch. If his positioning had been right, he would have seen that Nathan Tyson was in a clear offside position.

“We are not asking for much. We are just asking for them to do what they have to do. We have lost three very important points.”