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Appleton bemoans Bloomfield pitch

28 November 2012

Blackpool manager Michael Appleton felt a sub-standard Bloomfield Road pitch played too great a role in the 1-1 npower Championship draw with Birmingham.

England Under-21 winger Tom Ince gave the hosts a 17th-minute lead with his 11th goal of the season, a fifth in six appearances. Having watched the Seasiders battle back from behind to claim a point in each of his first three matches in charge, Appleton looked on as his charges were dealt a dose of their own medicine courtesy of Curtis Davies' headed leveller from Wade Elliott's corner early in the second half.

"If we keep our concentration from the set play we win the game 1-0, which is disappointing," he said. "We were the team, in terms of the impetus, in the second half as well but a lack of quality in the final third probably let us down a little bit.

"I do think, without making too many excuses, the pitch had a massive part to play in the game. A lot of the players couldn't really trust the bounce of the ball and there were a lot of passes going astray on both sides."

Blackpool duo Kirk Broadfoot and Tiago Gomes had penalty appeals turned down either side of half-time and Appleton felt the latter certainly had a case when referee Craig Pawson was unconvinced.

"The one in the second half especially, on Tiago, looked a blatant pull on his shirt and I think if it was anywhere but in the box it probably would have been given as a free-kick," Appleton said. "So that was a bit disappointing but I said the players after the game 'you earn your luck'."

The Seasiders face bottom-of-the-table Peterborough at the weekend with Appleton chasing a first win since succeeding Ian Holloway at the fifth time of asking - a statistic the former Portsmouth boss insists he is not paying a great deal of attention to.

"Sometimes that can be dangerous, the more anxious you get the more desperate you become," he added. "We have to be patient, we have to trust ourselves - that's going to be a big thing, trusting what we're about - and hopefully with a bit of endeavour and hard work the win will come, something will drop for us and we'll go on a run of games. Hopefully that will be this Saturday."

Three points would also be a welcome boost to Birmingham boss Lee Clark, whose 19th-place side at least avoided a third consecutive defeat on their way into Friday's clash with Middlesbrough.

"We didn't cause them enough problems, we didn't deal with the pitch," he said in concurrence with his counterpart. "We didn't manage the pitch because the pitch was difficult for both teams. Blackpool did the right thing in the first half. Overall the attitude and application and defensive side of the game for the full game I was happy with. The attacking side was a big improvement in the second half."

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