KEOGH HEADING THE RIGHT WAY
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.”
NEVER RAINS, IT POURS: Nottingham Forest’s Jamaal Lascelles scores the opening goal
HEAD BOY: Blackpool’s Andy Keogh celebrates