Slocombe: Pool players can’t blame a long journey

Sam Slocombe offered no excuse for Blackpools defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday
Sam Slocombe offered no excuse for Blackpools defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday
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Blackpool goalkeeper Sam Slocombe refused to use Tuesday night’s mammoth journey to the South Coast as an excuse for their defeat to Portsmouth.

The Seasiders failed to build on their 4-1 win at Carlisle on Saturday as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Paul Cook’s men at Fratton Park.

The fixture list threw up the 560-mile round trip just three days after travelling the 100 miles to Brunton Park at the weekend, but Pool’s number one said the players can’t afford to hide behind that excuse.

He said: “It’s difficult to travel up to Carlisle on the Saturday, get a fantastic result after a fantastic performance and then travel near-on the full length of the country on a Tuesday night to Portsmouth against a team who are very good and are up there in the league.

“The scheduling isn’t great. What is it, 500-odd miles in three days?

“On top of that, we had drug testing after the Carlisle game and I didn’t leave the ground until after 8pm which isn’t great for your recovery.

“But that’s not excuses because the performance we put on in the first half against Portsmouth wasn’t good enough. But we really responded at half-time.”

The Seasiders were comfortably second best in the opening period at Fratton Park and were lucky to go in the interval only a goal down, which came courtesy of Pompey full-back Gareth Evans.

They showed impressive character to fight back in the second half but they struggled to create many clear-cut chances and were punished at the death as Eoin Doyle broke away to add a second in the final minute of injury time.

The defeat sees Pool lose further ground on the top seven, although the damage was minimal as several teams in and around them in the table failed to pick up wins.

Slocombe said the defeat was hard to take but insists there were many positives to take out of the game.

“It was a disappointing defeat,” he added. “First half we weren’t up to the standards we’ve set ourselves in recent weeks and maybe found it difficult against how they set up.

“But second half we changed our shape a little bit, which allowed us to get closer to them and have a right go and we’ve had a couple of good chances, but they’ve got one on the break.

“We pushed forward to try and get a goal, which we were quite rightly in a position to do but they’ve caught us on the counter in the 94th minute.

“Sometimes it’s hard to take but at least we were having a go. If we continue to play as we did against Carlisle and in the second half against Portsmouth we will cause teams plenty of problems.”