HARRIOTT COOKS UP A HAT-TRICK
INTERIM player-manager Barry Ferguson kept his cards close to his chest regarding his future after watching Blackpool stay in the Championship despite a finalday home defeat to Charlton.
A second-half hat-trick from Callum Harriott secured a commanding victory for the Addicks, whose own survival was already assured after victory over Watford in midweek.
Defeat for Doncaster at Leicester and a late draw for Birmingham with Bolton ensured Blackpool will be a Championship team next season.
And that is all that matters for Ferguson – not what lies ahead for himself at the club or otherwise.
“That’s what I had to do when I took over, it’s just disappointing to end the season on a result like that,” Ferguson said.
“I said to them, wherever we all end up, at least we kept the club in the Championship.”
And Ferguson, who took temporary charge following the sacking of Paul Ince in January, is undecided whether he will play on but is keen on management.
“My future is getting on a plane as soon as I can and getting on holiday,” Ferguson added.
“I’m getting an operation soon on my ankle and I don’t know whether I am going to play on but it probably won’t be at Blackpool if I do play on.
“There’s only four contracted players, whoever gets the job has got the chance to come in and build their own squad and their own team.
“We agreed when I took over, we’d get to the end of the season and we’ve done that. I’ve aged about ten years in three months.
“This hasn’t scared me wanting to be a manager.Whether it’s here or whether it’s wherever it might be, you’ll see.”
Charlton keeper Ben Hamer made the first save of the match in the fourth minute, comfortably holding Tony McMahon’s longrange strike.
The home side threatened again just a minute later as Stephen Dobbie twisted and turned on the edge of the area before dragging his left-footed shot a yard wide of the post.
Craig Cathcart had a great chance to give Blackpool the lead after 21 minutes but nodded a McMahon free-kick over from six yards.
On the stroke of half-time Andy Keogh unleashed a dipping leftfooted strike which brushed the top of the net on its way over the bar.
Charlton forced Matt Gilks to make his first meaningful save in the first minute of the second half as top-scorer Marvin Sordell unleashed a fierce left-foot strike from 18 yards.
And the Addicks silenced the home crowd in the 61st minute by taking the lead through Harriot, who ran on to Sordell’s through ball to stroke past Gilks from 18 yards.
Charlton doubled their advantage after 81 minutes as Harriott grabbed his second, stroking home left-footed from 12 yards following brilliant work from substitute Jonathan Obika down the left.
And 20-year-old Harriot completed a remarkable hat-trick in injury time.
Latching on to Joe Pigott’s pass Harriot stroked the ball left-footed past Gilks from 18 yards once more.
Charlton boss Jose Riga took over at the Valley in March and guided the Addicks to safety and insists discussion about his own future at the club will take place.
“I have to talk about my own future,” Riga said. “I like the club and the structure but first of all I’m happy to be able to do this with all the people, so the future I have time to think about.
“For this club I hope the best and for them to stay in the Championship and improve – that is certainly one main target they can have.”
HAVING FUN AT THE SEASIDE: Charlton’s Callum Harriott, right, after completing his hat-trick
BATTLE: David Perkins, right, and Charlton’s Diego Poyet