sport

Ferguson laments same old woes

Blackpool caretaker boss Barry Ferguson remains confident his side are good enough to avoid relegation despite their miserable form continuing with a 3-1 defeat to Derby.

The Tangerines have now won only twice in their last 25 games and sit just three points clear of the relegation zone, despite taking a first-minute lead on Tuesday night thanks to a David Goodwillie strike.

However the Scottish striker's finish was soon cancelled out by Chris Martin before Patrick Bamford and Craig Bryson both scored to turn the game on its head inside the first 20 minutes.

In the second half Blackpool barely threatened a fight back and the home fans soon turned their anger on club chairman Karl Oyston, clashing with stewards after congregating in front of the stand where the owner was sitting.

But despite the protests, Ferguson remains confident that the Tangerines can arrest their slide in time.

"The players know they must improve," he said. "The players are good enough and I don't need to go screaming and shouting.

"I would like to think we have enough to stay up. I heard the protests and what the fans were singing, and I'm not going to kid anyone.

"I can't tell the fans what to do or what to chant. It's not a great help to the players. But they pay their money and feel they have right to say what they want.

"I've seen inside the club what's being spent and it's not what people are making out. The budget is a good enough budget to compete in the Championship."

Ferguson reflected on a bright start for Blackpool but admits the way in which they surrendered their lead was frustrating.

Same old

"For the first 15 or 16 seconds it was a good start, but after that it was the same old, same old," he added.

"We conceded three goals and after the early goal it's really frustrating.

"The game was probably over at half-time. It's easy when Derby sat in and just look to hit us on the counter-attack."

Meanwhile, Derby manager Steve McClaren believes his side now have one foot in the play-offs after what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

"We needed a response after Saturday's defeat to Middlesbrough and after going so quickly to a goal down here," he said.

"There was a real focus and determination and it was a big win. Psychologically it was a huge. We're in the business end of the season now we're in a good and strong position.

"We've got one foot in the door in terms of the play-offs and Saturday at home to Huddersfield becomes another big game. We need to get over the line."

McClaren hailed the work-rate of his side and believes it was their resilience and fight that guided them to victory.

"Performance is the key thing," he added. "And that was excellent. We were in total control of the first half and then it was grit and determination after half-time.

"We had real energy and there was good balance about the side."