Ainsworth adamant Jamal is Prem class
WYCOMBE boss Gareth Ainsworth claims Jamal Blackman is Premier League quality after the goalkeeper preserved a point against Blackpool.
The goalless draw keeps both sides within three points of the top seven, as the Tangerines lie ninth and the Chairboys 11th.
Blackman spectacularly clawed away Brad Potts’ effort early in the second half and then went one better on 86 minutes as he denied Potts from the penalty spot after Max Muller had fouled Jamille Matt in the air.
And Ainsworth was indebted to the 23-year-old Chelsea loanee.
“We’ve got Jamal Blackman to thank, he made a fantastic save in the second half, and made a brilliant save at the end which people will remember,” admitted Ainsworth.
“He is a quality keeper, and he showed it here. He is Premier League class, and I hope he gets a chance up there one day.
“At the moment we’re benefiting from having such a great keeper and such a great lad.
“It was a good game overall and it’s a good point for us.”
The first chance of the game fell to Wycombe’s Adebayo Akinfenwa, who drilled wide on ten minutes.
Midway through the first half a speculative effort from Potts grazed Blackman’s crossbar before Paris CowanHall’s low drive brought a smart save from Dean Lyness.
Shortly after the break, Potts’ effort was acrobatically clawed back from the goal-line by Blackman. Blackpool claimed that the ball had crossed the line, but Ainsworth was quick to dismiss the claims.
“You get some and you don’t get some,” added the Chairboys boss. “I’m pretty sure it wasn’t over the line but there’s no goal-line technology in League Two”. And Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer also quelled any drama.
“It was an outstanding save from Blackman,” said Bowyer.
“I think he (Potts) thought he scored and was already celebrating!
“I’ve seen it again – I can’t tell. “It’s a wonderful effort from their goalkeeper and he was the man of the match.”
Muller clumsily tangled with Matt in the penalty area on 86 minutes and although Blackman produced a brilliant save from Potts, Bowyer wasn’t too downhearted.
“I was really pleased at how we stuck to Wycombe,” he added. “That’s what we’re about.
“What has impressed me most is the character and desire, and this is going to hold us in good stead for the remainder of season.”