Ryan’s role vital for Blackpool

Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan

Sean Longstaff has praised the part played by Blackpool skipper Jimmy Ryan in helping him to settle quickly at Bloomfield Road.

The 19-year-old Newcastle United loanee, who is with the club until January 6, has made an instant impact with goals in four consecutive appearances.

He believes that is down in part to the work undertaken by Ryan in a midfield holding role, allowing Longstaff and fellow loanee Callum Cooke to flourish further forward.

“It’s actually really easy playing with Jim and Callum because me and Callum are quite similar in the way we play,” Longstaff said.

“With Jim there, it just gives us that protection to go and do what we want to do.

“When we’re out of position, he’s always covering for us. He’s the perfect person to have behind you.

“Whatever happens, if you make a mistake he’s always going to be there to tidy it up and not make it look as bad as it is.

“On the other hand, when he’s on the ball, we can just go into positions where it will cause problems for other teams and he will find you nine times out of 10.”

Longstaff netted the only goal last Saturday in the Seasiders’ 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon, which lifted them to seventh in the League One table.

An even first half gave way to a second period in which the home side had the better chances, following on from Longstaff’s 52nd-minute strike and Jimmy Abdou’s red card seconds later.

The win could have been more emphatic and Longstaff believes one side could find themselves on the end of a heavy defeat somewhere down the line.

“I think the gaffer (Gary Bowyer) was having a heart attack on the side,” he said of the missed chances.

“It’s a good sign but we need to polish up on a couple of things and some team could be on the end of a 4-0 or 5-0 scoreline.

“It’s good that we’re creating chances but we need to take them before they come back and bite us on the bum.

“I thought the team was excellent in the second half; the first half was a bit of a battle where we just dug in and did what we had to do to get to half-time.

“Obviously, second half, it helps with them getting a man sent off but, sometimes, that can work the other way.

“I thought we were really good in the second half and controlled the game.”