'We made it to Wembley and that's all that matters': Kenny Dougall on Blackpool's dramatic semi-final tie against Oxford
Kenny Dougall admits Blackpool made life a bit more difficult for themselves than they could have done - but they made it to Wembley and that’s all that matters.
The Seasiders will take on Lincoln City in the League One play-off final next weekend after beating Oxford United 6-3 over two legs.
Taking a three-goal lead into the second leg, Pool were heavy favourites to make it into the play-off final for the eighth time in the club’s history.
And while they ultimately achieved their aim, they did so in dramatic style, recovering from going a goal down early on to eventually draw 3-3, Dougall among those to find the net.
“It wasn’t the ideal start, but we scored straight away and got a second, so that settled us a bit,” Dougall said.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted and we made a lot of mistakes, which we got away with a little bit because of the result and the performance of the first leg.
“But we still got the job done and that was the important part. But at Wembley we’ll have to be a little bit better defensively.”
Friday night’s second leg was the first time Dougall has played in front of Blackpool’s fans, having joined in October 2020.
The atmosphere at Bloomfield Road was electric, as the returning Seasiders roared their team onto Wembley.
“Having the fans back in, it was loud,” the Australian said, who is on the verge of receiving his first international call-up.
“We haven’t had that for a while, so to get them back in was fantastic - 4,000 of them sounded like 50,000. All credit to them.
“It was a fantastic game for the supporters and the neutrals watching on TV.
“It wasn’t what we wanted, to concede straight away to put us on the back foot a little bit. But we had a comfortable aggregate lead.
“Those quick responses just helped settle us down. We made it a little bit more difficult than we would have liked, but we got to Wembley and that’s the most important part.
“I’ve never played at Wembley, although I’ve been once about 10 years ago. It will be good to go and actually play a match there.
“Again, it will be exciting to get the fans in the stadium, so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m not sure how many fans were in the ground for the warm-up. There were 4,000 for kick-off though and it felt like a lot, lot more. They were great.
“They cheered all night and us being in the lead obviously helped, but it was fantastic and it was great to have them back. It was great to score in front of them too.”
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