Start scoring ... or I’ll replace you

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
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BLACKPOOL boss Michael Appleton has sent a warning to his misfiring stars – start scoring or I’ll replace you!

The Seasiders have outplayed both Wolves and Huddersfield in their previous two games, but have only one point to show for it.

Appleton saw his side miss chance-after-chance on Boxing Day, before Nathan Delfouneso finally found the net to earn a last gasp 1-1 draw in West Yorkshire.

But the Pool boss says it’s about time his players turned some fantastic play into points.

“The positives are that we are creating lots of chances, but if you don’t put them away you will get punished,” he said.

“The players with the shirt have to start producing, or with January around the corner I’ll get people who can do it.”

The transfer window opens once again on Wednesday – only Wes Thomas has arrived since the manager took over from Ian Holloway last month.

There’s no doubting Pool are lacking firepower in attack, and the last two games have only accelerated their transfer search.

Appleton said: “Anyone who was at the game the other day will recognise that we need to get a striker in. Obviously, with Matty Phillips a few weeks away, then he’ll also offer a big bonus for us.

“We would like to think that somewhere along the line we’ll get a win or two out of games we haven’t played well in.

“Between now and the end of the season I’m sure that will happen.

“The performances are up there at the moment, we are just missing that cutting edge.

“It’s not unlucky, missing all those chances. We have to start taking them.”

Blackpool were back at their Squires Gate training ground this morning before travelling north ahead of tomorrow’s game against Middlesbrough.

And despite only picking up one out of a possible six points, Appleton remains full of optimism.

“There’s great spirit in our dressing room, and the players coming off the bench are making a real impact too,” he said.

“Before the goal I was thinking about what I could say after the game to pick the players up before the Boro game on Saturday.

“The players were in yesterday for a cool-down, and today we’ll try to get on the training ground and prepare for tomorrow’s game.

“It is tough to pick the team for tomorrow. The players were outstanding at times against Huddersfield, I had to remind the players of that.”

Pool will be without midfielder Isaiah Osbourne tomorrow after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Huddersfield.

Angel Martinez will start, while Delfouneso has thrown himself into contention with his Boxing Day goal.

“It’s very disappointing to lose Isaiah for the Boro game,” Appleton admitted.

“Anyone who went to the game on Wednesday will have seen how many tackles were going in unpunished by the referee.

“So for us to pick up a booking for Osbourne’s first foul was very disappointing and it will cost us.

“But that’s football.”