Seasiders must work on their defence

Blackpool coach Andy Todd admits the Seasiders have improvements to make in defence before they are ready for the start of the new season.

Monday, 24th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:45 pm
Kyle Vassell scored for Blackpool against Salford City

It comes after Pool leaked three goals in their narrow 4-3 win at Salford City on Saturday.

Two of those goals came from former striker Jack Redshaw, who impressed against his former employers having just signed for Salford half an hour before kick-off.

But goals from Kyle Vassell, Brad Potts, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Max Clayton were enough to secure the win.

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Todd, who has now permanently joined the Seasiders’ coaching staff, was satisfied with Pool’s work.

“It’s another 90 minutes towards the first game of the season at Bradford,” he said.

“I don’t look into results too much but it was obviously a pleasing win and we scored four good goals.

“But we conceded three so we obviously need to tighten up that defence.

“First half I thought the tempo, the movement and the passing was good. Second half we got a bit sloppy which showed in our defending for the goals.

“But there’s still a couple of weeks to go until the season starts and hopefully we’ll get them sharpened up and a little bit more focused.”

Clayton’s well-taken goal, which turned out to be the winner, was his first in tangerine having arrived at Bloomfield Road from Bolton Wanderers earlier in the summer.

He is just one of 11 players to join Gary Bowyer’s side, and Todd believes the new recruits are gelling well with their team-mates.

He added: “It’s always nice for the new boys to get off the mark but it’s all about gearing up for that first game of the season, getting the timing right and getting the fitness levels right.

“We want the lads to try and play, when it’s right to play we’ll play.

“Perhaps our tempo dropped a little in the second half because we weren’t as sharp as we would have liked.”

Meanwhile a second Blackpool side eased to a 7-0 win just down the road at Radcliffe Borough, with Nathan Delfouneso (3), Mark Cullen (2), Jamille Matt and Danny Philliskirk grabbing the goals.

That means all 11 goals scored in Pool’s two games came from the club’s forward options.

First-team coach Richie Kyle, who took charge of the Blackpool side at Radcliffe, said: “Strikers love scoring goals, they get their confidence from scoring goals.

“No matter what game it is or what level it is, they always want to put the ball in the back of the net. It can only put you in good stead and hopefully have them scoring goals in League One.

“We know we’re blessed with some good quality up front and whoever plays has got goals in them.”

For one striker, Mark Cullen, it was a first run out of pre-season that resulted in him finding the net on two occasions. The 25-year-old had to sit out the first few weeks of training after playing through the pain barrier at the play-off final back in May.

“He’s had a foot injury that he was playing with at the end of last season,” Kyle confirmed. “We tried to clear it up in the summer but it took a little bit longer than we thought.

“He’s back in full training now and it’s just about getting him up to speed. He was only on the pitch for 45 minutes but managed to get himself a couple of goals.”

The match at Radcliffe also saw new loan signing Sean Longstaff make his first appearance in tangerine, having reported to Blackpool on Friday evening.

Kyle added: “We met him late on Friday night and he’s obviously coming in to a new group.

“You can see from the game that he’s got quality – he’s good on the ball and makes forward runs. It was a good performance from him and he’ll only get better with the help of all the staff. We’re looking forward to seeing more of him.”