Bristol City 2-0 Blackpool
A depleted Blackpool squad travelled to Ashton Gate yesterday afternoon for their latest pre-season friendly without manager Ian Holloway, who was reported to be on a scouting missing (scouting at this stage... really?).
Assistant manager Steve Thompson took charge of the game and not only saw the Seasiders crash to a 2-0 defeat, but also saw Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Keith Southern pick up injuries that could well rule them out of the Seasiders opening game of the season against Wigan in less than two week's time. Indeed, Southern's injury is that bad it is feared that he could well be out for the entire season like team mate Billy Clarke.
The injuries and result further show just how stretched our tired squad is , and arguably this was a pointless friendly as we have no new players to gel and the players are fatigued rather than requiring match fitness.
Anyway, enough (justified) grumbling... let's get to the match...
The 'Pool team was as follows:
Subs: Gilks, Edwards, Coid, Eardley, Euell, Eastham, Husband, Sunny, Martin, Omotoyossi.
'Pool started the better team but were hit by a sucker punch on 21 minutes when Ivan Sproule capitalised on poor defending to fire home.
Three minutes later, David Clarkson doubled City's lead after yet more poor defending.
Despite all their possession, the Seasiders just could not create any chances.
Half time saw Taylor-Fletcher limp off through injury, replaced by Jason Euell.
Indeed, the second half was mainly a procession of substitutions, although Bristol City's new signing David James remained in the stands.
With five minutes to go, Keith Southern was stretchered off with a horrible looking injury.
Despite the result and the further injuries that leave the Seasiders struggling to send a starting XI out, never mind registering a squad of 25 players(!), assistant manager Steve Thompson believed that the work out was a useful one:
'It was a valuable 90 minutes.
'The biggest disappointment though is that we've lost another player in Keith Southern so that overshadows everything that we have done here. Hopefully it's not as bad as we fear at the moment.
Charlie Adam was also in a positive state of mind despite the defeat, backing the team to shine once the season gets under way.
The Scot told sportinglife.com:
'We want to win every game we can. That is the mentality we have got.
'We've been on a good run since September, we've been winning games and that's not a bad thing.
'We can achieve anything. If you want to work hard and put the right work in, you don't know what you can achieve.
'The league has not started yet. There are that many quality teams in it and we know it is going to be tough, but come the end of the season, if we are in the right position and we stay up, that will be the most important thing.
'Hopefully as a group we can give a good account of ourselves.'