The fact Blackpool are disappointed to be sitting mid-table in the Championship is a sign of how far they’ve come.
That’s the view of midfielder Kenny Dougall after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City.
Despite having to settle for three draws and two defeats for their last five games in the second tier, Neil Critchley’s side remain 11th but now sit five points adrift of the play-off spots.
Kenny Dougall says the game at Birmingham was very ‘stop-start’
Eleven points, meanwhile, separate Pool and the bottom three at the 20-game mark.
Speaking after the weekend setback at St Andrew’s, Dougall acknowledged there’s work to be done –but emphasised there’s still a great deal to be positive about for the newly-promoted Seasiders.
“We’re disappointed,” he said. “In the first half we were in complete control, but if you don’t take your chances you can always lose a game and that’s what happened.
“It was a very stop-start game. Whenever the ball went out of play they took their time to get going again, which was obviously part of their game plan and it disrupted us a little bit.
“In the second half, we went away from what we did in the first half, which was to pass the ball and get ourselves up the pitch.
“You know your game is not always going to be perfect, though, and we still should have walked away with a point, so we’re disappointed.
“It shows you how far we’ve come. We’re still a newly promoted side and we’re disappointed that we’re currently mid-table.
“There’s work to do but we’re still looking up and we’re ready to go.”
The Seasiders dominated large swathes of the game but were lacking a killer touch and composure in the final third.
Some good chances were squandered, the clearest falling to substitute Josh Bowler, who was denied by an impressive stop from goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, the brother of Blackpool’s Oliver.
But the hosts, who had previously only threatened from long throws and set-pieces, stole the points nine minutes from time through substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz.
There was some fortune involved in the winning goal too as the experienced striker, who appeared to be in an offside position, bundled home from close range with his thigh, despite knowing very little about it.
Dougall added: “It was one of those touch-and-go decisions for the goal. When they don’t go your way you’re frustrated.
“You can’t blame the linesman because it’s hard to see sometimes but I thought the referee was quite disappointing anyway.
“He didn’t get in the way of us winning the game, though. We had our chances and we should have come away with a point if not more.”