Pep seeks pos­i­tives in an­other U’s de­feat

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Scott Hunt

OX­FORD man­ager Pep Clotet hopes his side’s de­feat at Black­pool can act as a cat­a­lyst for the rest of the sea­son.

Kyle Vas­sell and Cal­lum Cooke set Black­pool on their way with early goals be­fore James Henry gave Ox­ford late hope – only for Vas­sell to strike again in in­jury­time to seal the win.

Ox­ford have now won just one of their last five games, but Clotet wants to use this de­feat as mo­ti­va­tion.

“We are of course feel­ing frus­trated be­cause things did not go our way but it’s a tough place to come – they haven’t lost here since April,” Clotet said.

“We were af­fected by the goals but this group has shown char­ac­ter be­fore and showed we are on the right track and pro­gress­ing.

“This is a bad game and a re­sult and we feel sorry for the fans. It is early in the sea­son and this might help us to keep pro­gress­ing.

“The game was thrown away in the first half es­pe­cially in the fact that they scored early and soon scored the se­cond goal as well. We paid a high price for those goals.”

Black­pool were ahead af­ter six min­utes through a stun­ning goal from Vas­sell.

The for­ward held off his marker and hit a left­footed shot from 25 yards which curled in low off the right-hand post.

And the lead was dou­bled on 15 min­utes with an­other su­perb strike as Cooke picked it up 25 yards out and ri­fled the ball into the same cor­ner.

Henry grabbed one back, tap­ping home a re­bound in the 89th minute.

But Black­pool re­sponded in added time as Vas­sell thumped home a free-kick and are now un­beaten in seven league games.

The newly-pro­moted Seasiders are up to fourth in the ta­ble and have won seven league games in a row at home, leav­ing man­ager Gary Bowyer de­lighted.

“It was a very pleas­ing per­for­mance, in the first half es­pe­cially,” Bowyer said.

“If you’re be­ing crit­i­cal, there are a num­ber of chances we cre­ated and didn’t cap­i­talise on. “We need to be more ruth­less in front of goal to fin­ish teams off in games.

“Credit to the play­ers in the squad who have stepped up into a new league.

“You never know in a new league but the way they’ve taken to how we want them to play has been re­ally good.

“We are de­lighted with the progress we are mak­ing.

“Wher­ever you play you want to be com­pet­i­tive and that’s what we’ve worked on.

“That’s the main­stay of the group, home or away.”

STAR MAN KYLE VAS­SELL Black­pool

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