MURPHY’S LAW FOR BLACKPOOL
BLACKPOOL provided a written response to their fans’ letter of discontent earlier this week – the answer on the pitch, however, was nowhere to be seen.
A decent Leeds performance was made to look indomitable by a terrible Blackpool side, and a Luke Murphy double pushed the Seasiders down to just two points above the relegation zone.
It was this kind of showing that has left Blackpool with just two wins in 26 games and prompted the Blackpool Supporters Association to write to the club questioning the commitment of some players.
Those concerns will only grow after this result, particularly with three promotion contenders in Burnley, Brighton and Wigan up next for Blackpool, but assistant manager Malky Thomson downplayed the issue.
He said:“I think there was confusion about the letter because certainly the fans we spoke to regarding the letter – there was no malice involved.
“It was just honest fans looking to make sure that the club stay in the league and the same with the players. There’s no problem there at all.
“Certainly the boys that we’ve got, we’ve got experienced players with a real pride in their profession.
“It’s tough when you go on a run of games and you’re not getting the results because fans are only interested in winning – and rightly so.
“So then they blame other areas and ask if you’re being professional but I can 100 per cent guarantee and assure you that the players at Blackpool Football Club right now are committed and very professional in their attitude towards what they are trying to achieve.”
Blackpool received a warning prior to Leeds’ first goal, with Murphy running in behind the defence 14 minutes in, only to be denied by Craig Cathcart’s sliding tackle.
Murphy was not bested seven minutes later though, again running from deep to meet Ross McCormack’s through ball and holding off Cathcart before poking past Matt Gilks.
Blackpool’s best opportunity came ten minutes before the interval as Neal Bishop met Tony McMahon’s cross from deep with a diving header but he couldn’t keep his effort under the bar.
It will be Murphy’s performance that draws the headlines, but credit should also go to Tom Lees, who marshalled the Leeds defence as Brian McDermott returned to a 3-5-2 formation.
So it was gratifying to see Lees play a big part in Leeds’ second, putting a ball forward for Noel Hunt to flick on to Murphy, who put a beautiful dink over Gilks.
Some dark clouds remain over Elland Road following the resignation of managing director David Haigh on Friday and the discovery of hidden cameras around the ground, including the board room, by new owner Massimo Cellino’s security men.
But Leeds will hope that this result – only their second win in 13 games – will put their on-field troubles behind them following Cellino’s takeover.
And Leeds boss McDermott said:“We got paid on Friday and it just feels like a new time. I dread to think what possibly could have happened if Massimo didn’t come in. He got a great reception from the fans, who were fantastic, and he deserved it.
“We can talk about player recruitment now. We can start talking about pre-season, we can talk about planning ahead, we can talk about players, we can talk about an awful lot of things that we haven’t been talking about, which is great for me.
“It’s been really tough, and I can say that now, though I couldn’t say it at the time. Going forward now it just feels like a different place, it really does. It just feels like we’re secure now.”
SMART FINISH: Luke Murphy scores Leeds’ second. Inset: The 24-year-old bags his first