RIGA REFUSES TO MAKE WAVES AT THE SEASIDE
Belgian praises the home support
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