Riga: Our improvement is no shock

Jose Riga
Jose Riga
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Jose Riga insists his Blackpool’s squad’s recent improved performances haven’t surprised him, despite writing the team off as relegation certainties just weeks ago.

His side have shown incredible improvement in recent games after a record breaking bad opening to the season.

Bobby Grant

Bobby Grant

Riga himself said the current squad would be relegated, but after recent performances appears to have changed his mind.

“We can do something though, for sure,” he said.

“In a short time we’ve shown a remarkable improvement.

“A few weeks ago this team didn’t even know each other.

“They haven’t surprised me really, I expected this as manager.

“I don’t want to be negative but I know what we have to give in every game to get a win.

“I’m not surprised the results are improving as we’ve all worked so hard an have incredible team spirit.

“It’s just the first step though, I won’t be making judgments, it’s too early.”

Pool have no game this weekend due to the international break but sit in a much better position than the previous gap in fixtures.

And the draw against Middlesbrough and win at home to Cardiff has set the standard for the Seasiders.

Boss Riga said: “The most difficult thing isn’t to get the first win and play at this level, it’s to stay at this level.

“Over the season we’ll have to do this much more.

“We had such a lack of experience all over the pitch and that made the recent results even more remarkable.

“We have been pushing these inexperienced players to push the message across and explain what we want from people.

“And in the atmosphere of the stadium on Friday we have been able to get the best out of these players.

“The key now will be getting this out of them every week.

“It’s only one step Friday night, we now need to look further in a more competitive way.”

Meanwhile, striker Bobby Grant has joined Shrewsbury on a month’s loan.

The 24-year-old hasn’t featured this season for Blackpool and only managed seven appearances last term.

And he’s linked up with former Blackpool player Micky Mellon in the hope of valuable first team action.

“For myself, it’s about getting out there and playing,” said Grant.

“I spoke to Micky Mellon and everything sounded good.

“I’ve either played against or played with some of the players here, so it was part of the reason why I came here.

“I know a few of the lads as they are from where I’m from, so it’s a massive help.”