Riga tells Oyston: Please do your job

Blackpool manager Jos� Riga
Blackpool manager Jos� Riga
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Jose Riga has called upon Karl Oyston to do his job and help him to drag Blackpool out of their current mess.

The Seasiders have endured a torrid start to their campaign, losing both matches following a shambolic pre-season.

They have been unable to fill their substitutes’ bench for either game, with those in the starting 11 looking totally under-prepared.

Writing in Tuesday’s Gazette, chairman Oyston blamed the situation on Riga “spending too much time chasing unrealistic targets”.

Now the Belgian has hit back, telling The Gazette: “I have responsibilities as manager and I hope other people at the club will do theirs.

“I’m busy with training at the moment and I leave all the negotiations to other people. I’ve been doing my job and now I expect them to do the same.

“How long will it take for me to get this team ready? I don’t know. I know it could take time. We need to be realistic and see the position we are in.”

Pool spent the first month of pre-season with no more than eight senior players in training. They cancelled their tour of Spain and played only two friendlies before the big kick-off at Nottingham Forest last Saturday.

And boss Riga pulled no punches when explaining Pool’s poor start.

He added: “Our reality is we have gone into the season without any preparation whatsoever. Before thinking about the tactics, the first thing we need as professionals is to be sure that each player is physically at his best.

“We are just trying to do what we can but every other team started six or seven weeks ago,and they did so for a reason.

“We didn’t. Maybe we needed that defeat on Tuesday (at League Two Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup) to show the reality of where we are. You can sometimes win games based on skill or team spirit but you need to be in shape.

“It’s not just players, though. We need help with things like bringing in fitness staff to help us prepare properly. We have so much work to do here and I need help.”

Riga takes charge of his first competitive game at Bloomfield Road on Saturday against Blackburn.

It’s another quick turnaround and Riga says he again finds himself patching together a side. “We just have to keep looking for solutions, and our solution is everyone getting closer to being ready,” he said.

“I want a better future and hopefully that isn’t too far away. I’ll just keep trying to do my job the best I can, but it’s not easy at the moment.”