CLARK LOOKS TO A FRESH START
Seasiders 17 points adrift of trap door
BLACKPOOL boss Lee Clark admits the upcoming international break will give him a chance to prepare for next season after a draw against Leeds edged the Seasiders closer to relegation.
Gary Madine had given Blackpool the lead just before the break, but Italian forward Mirco Antenucci struck just after the hour to extend Leeds’ unbeaten run to five games.
Blackpool, the Championship’s bottom side, are now 17 points adrift of safety with just seven games to go. Fans clashing in the stands added to their misery.
And Clark, whose side are without a win in 11 games, says his attentions are already on next term with a two-week break to look forward to.
“We are in the process of working for next season so the next two weeks will be a continuation of that,” he said. “We are talking to players and making assessments. I’m in regular contact with my chief scout.We’re looking at players.
“We’ve got to make Blackpool an attractive proposition, a club where it’s not a last-stop shop for somebody, not where they’ve explored all their avenues and they’re going to come here and get a big salary and finish their playing days. We need young hungry players.
“The lads are playing for their futures in football and they’ve shown me that they can deliver performances. Whether it’s with Blackpool or not, they’ve got to fight for their future.
“We should have won the game, we deserved to. The players deserved three points. There were lots of good individual performances out there.”
Before kick-off there were more protests by Blackpool fans against the clubs owners, with one banner reading ‘RIP BFC: Killed by Greed 2015’ before many supporters boycotted the game to watch AFC Blackpool instead.
Leeds almost took the lead after 39 minutes when Charlie Taylor dribbled through the Blackpool defence but couldn’t poke under Joe Lewis.
But it was Blackpool who struck first in the 44th minute when Madine put them ahead, nodding into an empty net from six yards after Andrea Orlandi’s free-kick came back off the bar.
The home side had a good chance to double their lead three minutes into the second half as Madine rose highest to meet Michael Jacobs’ corner, but could only head wide from 12 yards.
Leeds squandered a great chance on the hour mark when Gaetano Berardi’s cross found Antenucci 12 yards out, but he volleyed just over with his right-foot as he rushed into the area.
But he made amends a minute later when a long ball forward found him in behind the chaotic Blackpool defence and he lobbed it over Lewis from 12 yards to equalise for Leeds.
Leeds manager Neil Redfearn bemoaned the state of the pitch and says he doesn’t know whether his future will be sorted out over the international break.
“It’s a fair result because it’s a difficult surface to play on and it’s whether you can avoid making many mistakes,” Redfearn said.
“I have to say it must be an absolute nightmare for them trying to get results on this. It’s just a quagmire.
“All it needs is a path through the middle and you’ve got park playing fields.
“We didn’t start well, we didn’t play the conditions right. I changed it and we looked better.
“You come to Blackpool, bottom of the league and everybody thinks you’re going to beat them six and seven and it doesn’t work like that.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, the decision on my future is up to the directors. If it were me, I would!”
UGLY SCENES: Fans clash in the stands
OFF THE MIRC: Mirco Antenucci, right, celebrates scoring Leeds’ equaliser