Bowyer boosted by Blackpool's show of character
Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer paid tribute to his players' character after watching them extend their unbeaten League One run to five matches.
The Seasiders made it 11 points from their last five outings with a battling goalless draw at Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
A performance that was gritty rather than pretty yielded their point, which was a fair enough outcome on the balance of play and chances created.
Blackpool keeper Ryan Allsop and his opposite number Matt Gilks, the former Seasiders number one, will have much busier afternoons, while Pool striker Kyle Vassell and Iron front man Paddy Madden wasted chances to test the keepers.
Bowyer said afterwards: “It’s a hell of a point to come up here, when you look at the firepower they have, the squad they have assembled, and how well coached and organised they are.
“We knew it was going to be a hell of a challenge. I said pre-match that we would learn a lot about our lads in the 90 minutes.
“We have been terrific. We haven’t come here, sat and defended; we’ve come, had a go and had the closest opportunity with Kyle Vassell in the first half.
“Gilksy pulled off a great save from Viv (Solomon-Otabor) in the first half and we really had a go.
“There was a ricochet at the end which you’re hoping falls to Kelvin Mellor, who we needed to fill in on the right wing and was terrific.”
Bowyer had brought Mellor and Sessi D’Almeida into the starting line-up because Sean Longstaff’s sore Achilles sustained against AFC Wimbledon had not cleared up, while Nathan Delfouneso was ruled out through illness.
Playing on the right-hand side of a five-man midfield, Mellor produced a committed performance from first minute to last.
Alongside him in the centre of Blackpool’s midfield, D’Almeida put in an energetic shift, chasing back to win possession, advancing in support of Vassell and also finding time to infuriate the home supporters.
That started just before the hour, when he was felled 20 yards out by Murray Wallace, who was also cautioned in the process.
While there was contact, D’Almeida’s fall was of the theatrical kind and his return to his feet – seemingly without any harm at all done – made him the pantomime villain until he was replaced by Will Aimson with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
Bowyer (right) said: “It was Sessi’s full debut and it (his performance) is exactly what we brought him in for, as unfortunately Sean Longstaff couldn’t make it.
“We are delighted with what we have got. We haven’t got the biggest of squads because of what happened at the death of the transfer window, so we will have to be flexible.”
There was also a word for the travelling fans who made themselves well and truly heard among the crowd of 4,290 inside Glanford Park.
The manager believed that backing helped to inspire his players in maintaining their recent unbeaten run ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Plymouth Argyle.
“We had an unbelievable backing from our supporters,” Bowyer said.
“I’m delighted with how we have gone about it and it stands us in good stead for Tuesday.
“We have to recover quickly before we embark on the journey down there.”