I’m still the man insists Clark
BLACKPOOL manager Lee Clark remains adamant he is the man to turn the flailing club’s fortunes around despite watching his rock-bottom side lose a fourth straight match, this time against Sheffield Wednesday in a dire encounter at Bloomfield Road.
Lewis McGugan’s cross-cumshot from a free-kick was the difference between the two sides in a scrappy affair played out on Blackpool’s quagmire of a pitch.
The Seasiders were booed off as they left the field but Clark, who has won just three matches since taking over in November, insisted he would be the man leading the club forward.
“I’m 100 per cent confident I’ll be here next season,” said Clark.
“I believe this from the conversations I have had with the chairman.
“Nobody is happy, we’re bottom of the table and we’re going out of the Champi- onship so I don’t think anybody is jumping through hoops but you’ve got to understand where we are at.
“Next season we need to prepare properly from the first moment and with a full squad and have a proper pre-season.”
Clark’s men were given a warning in the 24th minute when giant Wednesday striker Atdhe Nuhiu missed a free-header at the back post after substitute Marnick Vermijl, who replaced the injured Sam Hutchinson early on, appeared to get in the centre forward’s way as he attempted to get on the end of an inviting McGugan cross from the right.
The Seasiders only decent attempt of the first half came when Jamie O’Hara curled a free-kick narrowly wide of the top corner in the 34th minute and Clark admitted he would have liked to have seen his team offer more.
He added: “We’d like to score more goals, we’d like to have more chances, we’d like to be more of a threat in the final third but you have to weigh that up in terms of the players we have, in that they are young players.”
Wednesday’s dominance told after half-time when McGugan curled in a free-kick from the left touchline that evaded everyone inside the penalty area and nestled in the far corner of home goalkeeper Ell Parish’s net.
Owls skipper Tom Lees nearly doubled his side’s lead in the 64th minute but his half-volley was held by Parish at the backpost, after Nuhiu had knocked down Chris Maguire’s floated cross-field ball from the left.
But beleaguered Blackpool rarely threatened to equalise and a tame Miles Addison header after a long throw-in from Tom Barkhuizen was only partially cleared in the 67th minute was as close as they came to doing so. This enabled Wednesday to record their 18th clean sheet of the season with relative ease, something that their manager Stuart Gray was quick to point out.
He said: “It’s our 18th clean sheet of the season and we deserve credit for that.
“Obviously credit has to go to the goalkeeper and the back four but we defend from the front and you needed to do that on a pitch like this.
“It was very hard to play any kind of decent football on this pitch.
“It just wasn’t conducive to knocking the ball around.
“But to be fair we can’t use that as an excuse as our pitch isn’t that good either.”
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