Ollie: I hope we don't rue misses
Ian Holloway hopes Blackpool do not live to regret missed chances after claiming a slender 1-0 advantage against Birmingham.
The game's solitary strike was credited as an own goal to Blues captain Curtis Davies after a wicked deflection sent Tom Ince's speculative drive beyond wrong-footed goalkeeper Colin Doyle a minute before half-time in the play-off semi-final first leg..
In the second period, Peter Ramage produced a magnificent last-ditch block to deny Seasiders forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher, before Stephen Dobbie blazed over on following a sublime piece of skill from man-of-the-match Ince.
Veteran striker Kevin Phillips came off the bench to have a goal ruled out for offside before the hosts almost paid for their profligacy when Birmingham's top scorer Marlon King rattled Matt Gilks' left-hand post in stoppage time.
"They nearly nicked an equaliser - I'd be fuming if that was the case because, generally, I thought we deserved to just edge it," said Holloway.
"I'm delighted it (the goal) went in, I think we needed that, but a couple of those others - deary, deary me. I hope we don't rue the day that we missed them.
"Taylor-Fletcher, what a great block. That was unbelievable. That's as good as a goal sometimes.
"And then Dobbie, it was a wonderful piece of skill from Incey and I'd have had everything I've got on him just rolling it in."
Nevertheless, Holloway - who is chasing Blackpool's second Championship play-off triumph in three seasons - was quick to praise his players for how they dealt with a high-pressure occasion.
"I thought it was a fantastic performance," he added.
"Obviously I would have preferred to be more ahead because the second leg is going to be one heck of a game, a massive, massive game for us.
"All I asked was (for the players) to give me a performance, play under pressure - I thought we were absolutely terrific.
"I asked my front lads to cause their back four a problem and throughout the course of the game we had three or four clear-cut chances to their one at the end."
Birmingham manager Chris Hughton was satisfied with his side's defensive work but wants them to address a lack of quality in possession ahead of Wednesday night's second leg at St Andrew's.
"I thought that Blackpool were good on the ball, which you very much expect here," he said.
"You know that they're going to have good possession of the football and I thought that we had really good spells where we kept our shape and defended well.
"But need to be better on the ball than we were.
"They had a couple of good chances, we had arguably the best chance of the game through Marlon King right at the death and it's a very fortuitous goal that settles it.
"The shot was going wide and takes a wicked deflection and that's the nature of the game.
"They were better than us, we'll hold our hand up.
"We'll need be better than we were tonight and if we are that puts us in with a great chance."