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

CARE­TAKER man­ager Barry Fer­gu­son in­sisted his side had set their bench­mark for the rest of the sea­son af­ter a late equaliser from Andy Keogh on his first start earned a draw with high­fly­ing Not­ting­ham For­est.

Keogh’s header on 85 min­utes gave Black­pool the point af­ter Ja­maal Las­celles had put For­est in front just be­fore half-time.

The Seasiders’ sea­son was turned on its head af­ter 13 matches with­out a win in all com­pe­ti­tions and their chal­lenge against For­est was not helped by the ab­sence of star striker Tom Ince – busy scor­ing on loan at Crys­tal Palace.

But Fer­gu­son be­lieves Black­pool have fi­nally turned a corner af­ter they bat­tled back against Not­ting­ham For­est.

“What pleased me more than any­thing is they proved what they’ve got to­day against a very good Not­ting­ham For­est,” Fer­gu­son said.

“We lost a sloppy goal which I wasn’t happy with at half-time. Sloppy free-kick to give away and sloppy de­fend­ing.

“I said to them not to feel sorry for them­selves they took it on board and went out with a great at­ti­tude.

“I’ve never doubted their at­ti­tude and com­mit­ment. It was just their qual­ity and their con­fi­dence and that came out in the sec­ond half which re­ally pleased me.”

Two sides at op­po­site ends of the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble played out a very even first half at Bloom­field Road.

It was For­est, seek­ing to make it 15 games un­beaten in all com­pe­ti­tions that had the first chance as Greg Hal­ford latched onto an Andy Reid free-kick and was su­perbly de­nied by Matt Gilks.

The away side dom­i­nated most of the first half and took the lead on the stroke of half-time as a Reid free-kick from the left was met by Las­celles who poked low to the right of Gilks.

Black­pool called Karl Dar­low into mean­ing­ful ac­tion for the first time af­ter 51 min­utes as Keogh hit a driven shot from the left which was pushed wide by the For­est keeper.

Black­pool care­taker man­ager Fer­gu­son made a triple sub­sti­tu­tion on 65 min­utes to try and get his side back into the game.

It al­most paid in­stant div­i­dends as David Good­willie headed just wide of the right hand post with his first touch from a McMa­hon cross from the right.

Black­pool was the team on top though and the home side saw their pres­sure tell on 85 min­utes.

Jack Robin­son, on loan from Liver­pool, broke down the left and crossed to the far post where Keogh nod­ded back across goal into the net for the much de­served equaliser.

Fer­gu­son be­lieves it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore his side, who have won just one of their last 16, gets all three points.

“I said to them af­ter the game that’s the per­for­mance I’m ex­pect­ing now,” the Scot said.

“The train­ing is fan­tas­tic the at­ti­tude is great. All they need to do now is bring it here on a Satur­day at 3 o’clock.”

Mean­while, Billy Davies be­lieves his For­est side, who have now lost just twice away all sea­son, will look back on this draw as a point gained.

“It’s a fair re­sult prob­a­bly – we had the first half, they had the sec­ond half,” Davies said. “This we could look back on and re­alise that this is a very valu­able point.

“I’ve came to this club with very strong teams and picked up noth­ing.

“I think they’re in the wrong po­si­tion with the team sheets that they can put out and the play­ers they’ve got.

“I can or­gan­ise a team, I can change the tac­tics and I can change the struc­ture but the one thing we’ve got to do is recog­nise what is re­quired go­ing into the min­utes of late games.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

NEVER RAINS, IT POURS: Not­ting­ham For­est’s Ja­maal Las­celles scores the open­ing goal

HEAD BOY: Black­pool’s Andy Keogh cel­e­brates

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