RIGA RE­FUSES TO MAKE WAVES AT THE SEA­SIDE

Bel­gian praises the home support

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Scott Hunt

UN­DER-PRES­SURE Black­pool boss Jose Riga claims it is business as usual de­spite a bizarre week on the sea­side end­ing in a stale­mate against Wolves.

Bur­ton Al­bion man­ager Gary Rowett said ear­lier in the week that he had turned down the Black­pool job after Tan­ger­ines chair­man Karl Oys­ton slammed Riga’s un­pro­fes­sional at­ti­tude.

Spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to sur­round for­mer Charl­ton boss Riga but his side put in a much-im­proved per­for­mance as the fans chanted their man­ager’s name from start to fin­ish.

That, along with their club’s first point of the sea­son, made the Bel­gian’s day.

“I’m very pleased and it is a feel­ing that I have known at some places but not maybe in this way and it makes me stronger,” Riga said.

“I just do my job and it’s be­cause I am loyal and hon­est and tell the truth and I just fo­cus on my job of man­ager. That’s the main rea­son.

“They know that I’m look­ing for the best for the club. I’m not think­ing about my­self. It’s not a per­sonal story, it’s one that I want to share with the fans.”

Riga be­lieves he can see the de­vel­op­ment of his team and thinks they are not far away from a first win.

“I am a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed be­cause maybe we could think about three points at some mo­ment of the game,” Riga said.

“The fact that we were able to work for two weeks can give us more value as a team. It’s only the first step.We see the evo­lu­tion.

“I would like that first win. It’s more the ques­tion to build a more com­pet­i­tive team and of course I will be ten times more happy if we get our first win.”

It took un­til the 16th minute for the first chance of the game and it fell to the home side.

Nathan Delfouneso drove at the Wolves de­fence be­fore get­ting on the end of An­drea Or­landi’s rightwing cross and loop­ing his shot just wide from 12 yards.

Wolves came close to open­ing the scor­ing in the 23rd minute as Michael Ja­cobs met Matt Do­herty’s right-wing cross and pow­ered his header goal­wards – where Joe Lewis dived full stretch to push it away.

Ra­jiv van La Parra struck the post for Wolves after 36 min­utes after jink­ing in from the right and curl­ing his left-footed shot across Lewis in the Black­pool goal.

Black­pool started the sec­ond half the brighter and had a golden chance to take the lead in the 49th minute, as An­drea Or­landi found Tony McMa­hon with a de­fence­s­plit­ting pass but the de­fender could only find the side net­ting from 12 yards.

The home side should have taken the lead in the 58th minute as Nile Ranger found him­self against the last man and broke clean through on goal, only to dink the ball over the keeper and on to the bar.

Wolves pushed for a win­ner in the clos­ing stages and Dave Ed­wards had a shot from 20 yards com­fort­ably saved by Lewis as Black­pool clinched their first points of the sea­son.

Wolves boss Kenny Jack­ett be­lieves a draw was a fair re­sult and, de­spite be­ing pleased with their start to the sea­son, wants more from his side.

“We’ve played good foot­ball and haven’t scored a lot of goals and that’s been the fea­ture of our sea­son,” Jack­ett said.

“We are not too far away, we’ve come into the league, we’re com­pet­i­tive, we play good foot­ball but ob­vi­ously we all want a lit­tle bit more and you can see where we need it.

“We didn’t have a lot of clear cut chances. The glass is ei­ther half full or half empty de­pend­ing how you are look­ing at it.

“I don’t think we are in a bad place as a club, but are we look­ing for more? Ob­vi­ously yes we are, both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal.

“They've drawn 0-0 at home and they've been applauded off.

“The sup­port­ers are right be­hind the play­ers and the man­ager and you could see it in the spirit that the play­ers have shown.”

FIND­ERS KEEP­ERS: Black­pool stop­per Joe Lewis palms away a dan­ger­ous cross with Nile Ranger lurk­ing

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