Blue­print changes but Ince is on top

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alec Fenn To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

THEY SAY you never fall in love the same way twice and Black­pool fans are cer­tainly fall­ing for a very dif­fer­ent ap­proach un­der Paul Ince.

The Seasiders were famed for their free-flow­ing, gung-ho style un­der Ian Hol­loway dur­ing their brief stint in the Pre­mier League, but a more prag­matic phi­los­o­phy sees them top of the Cham­pi­onship this week­end.

Af­ter pulling away from a rel­e­ga­tion scrap just in the nick of time last sea­son, Ince has had the un­en­vi­able task of re­build­ing a squad re­duced to its bare bones fol­low­ing the de­par­tures of ten first team reg­u­lars, with Matt Phillips the lat­est of those to leave af­ter join­ing QPR on Fri­day.

Such has been the lack of op­tions at his dis­posal, 17-year-old cen­tre-back Har­ri­son McGa­hey was named among the sub­sti­tutes, along with young striker Tom Barkhuizen, and it was the lat­ter of those two who stole all the head­lines.

The 20-year-old was thrown on with 25 min­utes re­main­ing against Read­ing and his late run and fin­ish sealed a 1-0 win for Black­pool and left Ince beam­ing from ear to ear at the ef­forts of his un­der-strength side.

He said: “We lost Craig Cath­cart, Steven Davies and Isa­iah Os­bourne to in­jury be­fore the game and [Gary] Macken­zie dur­ing the game, but we didn’t let it bother us and we showed un­be­liev­able char­ac­ter.

“Ide­ally, if I had a full strength squad Tom Barkhuizen might not have been on the bench.

“I told him to en­joy the mo­ment and not to think about it too much.

“He’s been chomp­ing at the bit and I thought he’d missed his chance to shoot but he took it so well.

“His com­po­sure was su­perb, he didn’t panic.”

Ri­cardo Fuller ar­rived at Bloom­field Road on a free trans­fer ten days ago and he made his pres- ence known in a lively show­ing.

The striker tested Alex McCarthy with a 25 yard ef­fort early on and caused Read­ing cen­tre-backs Alex Pearce and Sean Mor­ri­son no end of prob­lems with his hold up play, as the home side en­joyed the bet­ter of the open­ing pe­riod.

That was aided by the pres­ence of Fuller, the for­mer Stoke strik­erm, with Ince ex­cited at the prospect of get­ting him fully fit.

He added:“I told Ricky, I’ll give you 55 min­utes, just give me ev­ery­thing you’ve got and he was su­perb, he gave us some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“He’s a beast of a man, though he doesn’t look it. He’s strong, he’s got a funny run­ning style, but he’s pow­er­ful and he can re­ally beat play­ers. He’s a great ac­qui­si­tion for us.

“I want to play good football but we haven’t been able to do that be­cause we haven’t got the play­ers.

“Hope­fully we can change our style if we get the right per­son­nel in.”

The vis­i­tors were slow out of the traps but ral­lied late in the open­ing pe­riod as Roys­ton Dren­the tested Matt Gilks with a curl­ing free-kick, be­fore Jem Karacan struck the

three great chances and then we did the same in the sec­ond pe­riod.

“Roys­ton was caus­ing prob­lems do­ing well and Le Fon­dre went close with a chance, but we didn’t take our chances.

“We made a mis­take at the back for their goal and fair play to the Black­pool player for tak­ing ad­van­tage of that but we’ve got to be do­ing bet­ter in that sit­u­a­tion.

“We’ve come away from home and there are no easy games in this di­vi­sion and well done to Black­pool be­cause they’ve got the three points.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

BITE AND BITE: Tom Barkhuizen scores his first goal for Black­pool

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