We have yet to record a win under the permanent Kit Symons and for the second time in 4 days had to come back from behind to earn a point, this time against bottom of the table Blackpool. We fell behind in the first minute when our defence failed to deal with a cross and allowed the burly Blackpool forward Ishmael Miller to turn and shoot. Worst was the Tangerines second goal, when their winger dribbled the line all too easily and his cross was converted by an unmarked Murphy. A shot later straight at Bettanelli might have produced a third and put the game beyond our reach.
Blackpool’s Tony MaMahon was sent off for lashing out at Rodallega but they defended with 10 men stoically, their last line of resistance keeper Joe Lewis producing a string of fine saves. Our two young wingers George Williams and Patrick Roberts looked lightweight and we missed the clever touches of McCormack. Scott Parker did pull one back just before the half time whistle and in the second half wave after wave bore down on the Blackpool penalty area. Bryan Ruiz scored direct from a corner to level the scores. After seeing off Charlton 3-0 we all had high hopes that a victory last night and another against Huddersfield this Saturday would hoist us up the table but we are only just perched above the relegation area.
Aside from Christensen our youngsters do not seem ready for the physical challenges of the division whilst the intake of purchases not capable enough. We are particularly deficient at full back. I read an interview with Magath, this time blaming the players for relegation but he did not leave at the end of last season but stayed and was charged and funded to rebuild the team. Toser, Chili, Taggart, Smith the have all hardly played whilst Staflylidis and Hoogland are adventurous coming forward but unreliable defensively. The January window is going to be crucial as to where we finish.