We can't afford to have square pegs in round holes, says Blackpool keeper Mark Howard

Howard kept his second clean sheet of the season in the 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury
Howard kept his second clean sheet of the season in the 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury

"We have some quality in the dressing room, it’s just about fitting them into the right formation".

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Those were the words of goalkeeper Mark Howard, speaking after a frustrating 0-0 draw away at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

The Seasiders began the game with a number of players out of position, with Ollie Turton filling in at left back, Paudie O'Connor starting at right back and Joe Bunney out on the wing.

Even more changes were made at half time, with centre back Donervon Daniels brought on to play at right back, O'Connor shipped over to the left and Turton pushed forward into the centre of midfield.

It made for a confusing watch as the Seasiders struggled to get a foothold in the game, and Howard admits getting the formation right is something they need to work on.

He said: “I’m delighted to keep a clean sheet, the second in three league games which is a brilliant start - especially as they came away from home.

“The lads have defended superbly. It’s not just myself making the saves here and there, it’s the blocks they’re making and the headers and the clearances.

“As a team we’re defending really well.

“We’ve got strength in depth, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some quality in the dressing room, it’s just about fitting them into the right formation and not having square pegs in round holes in theory.

“We are going to defend well, we’ve got some great quality at the back there. If we can just get that bit more quality, we’ll do well."

Howard made a vital stop in the final minute of the game, saving with his feet after Josh Laurent had been sent through on goal for Shrewsbury.

If proved to be the only clear-cut chance of the game as both sides struggled to display any genuine quality.

“I don’t mind if they shoot from difference because I know it’s got to be a worldie to beat me - well, hopefully!," Howard added.

“They didn’t really trouble us too much but we struggled to get a foothold in the first half. We started slowly and we looked very leggy.

“Obviously travelling on the day could have had a big effect. Sometimes you don’t want to make excuses but they are there sometimes."

"(For the late save) I just stayed in my position. A lot of keepers can get sucked out and get beat at the near post, that’s when you get beaten too easily.

“But it was easy for me to stay in my position to make the block."

The Seasiders, who have picked up two points from their opening three league games of the season, now return to Bloomfield Road next week for a home double header.

They host Coventry City on Tuesday night before Accrington Stanley come to town the following Saturday.

“It’s good to return to Bloomfield Road and after the win in midweek, we should go into it full of confidence," Howard said.

“I think that first goal in the league will kick us off. I know we scored against Portsmouth but we really need to put our own stamp on the game.

“That will drive us on, it definitely did the other night in the cup.”