Slocombe: Cup display gives Pool confidence

Blackpool 'keeper Sam Slocombe
Blackpool 'keeper Sam Slocombe
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Blackpool number one Sam Slocombe hopes their impressive display against Barnsley in the FA Cup will give them confidence for the rest of the season.

The Seasiders take on another cup fixture tonight as they prepare to face Wycombe Wanderers in the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy (7pm).

It comes on the back of a promising performance against Barnsley on Saturday, where Gary Bowyer’s men had countless opportunities to get their name in the fourth round hat outright.

As it is, they will be required to win a replay at Oakwell against the Championship side if they are to progress to the next round.

Speaking after the game, Slocombe said the result should boost the players’ morale ahead of a busy month of league and cup fixtures.

“League Two makes games more of a fight than a football game, but Saturday was an opportunity to go out and get some confidence,” he said.

“We got our foot on the ball, which playing the new formation allowed us to do, and come the last minute of the game anyone could have won it.”

Although the hosts had several chances to win it, Blackpool were grateful to Slocombe who made a brilliant save late on to deny Conor Hourihane.

Yet in the final minute of stoppage time Pool had their own chance for a dramatic late winner, with Jamille Matt drilling narrowly over the bar.

“In them kind of situations you just have to make yourself as big as possible without giving them the option of putting in between your legs, especially coming at the angle he did,” he added.

“Fortunately for me I got a late boot on it and forced it wide. But we went up the other end and could have nicked it with a chance very similar but unfortunately we didn’t hit the target.

“Credit to Adam (Davies) at the other end, he made some smart saves as well. He made a fantastic save off Kyle Vassell when he turned in the box and hit it high, that was a great save.

“But the good thing from our part is that we gave him those opportunities to make good saves from the way we played.

“I would have been a bit disappointed if we had come off the pitch and he hadn’t had to save anything. But he’s had to make a couple of cracking saves.”

Pool impressed on home turf playing in a new 3-5-2 formation, which seemed to suit their desire to play fast, counter-attacking football and Slocombe said the new system looked to have its desired effect.

He added: “We played with a new shape which we only really looked at on Friday but it seemed to suit us with the personnel that were out there.

“I thought in the first half we had a bit more composure on the ball than what we showed in the second half.

“But it was nice to test ourselves against a team that have scored quite a few goals in the Championship, so for us to come out of it with a clean sheet is fantastic.

“But for sure with the system and intensity we played with, we created a lot more chances than we have been doing in recent weeks.”

Tonight Pool face a Wycombe side who are currently flying high in League Two.

Gareth Ainsworth’s men made it through to this stage with an impressive 3-1 win away at Millwall in the last round.

They also had success in the FA Cup at the weekend, beating non-league Stourbridge 2-1 on home turf.