By Mike Courtney
After the euphoria of last weekend’s victory over relegated Wolves I was quietly confident we could get something out of our trip to Bloomfield Road, and finally put to bed our woeful midweek record of the past few seasons.
Tom Lees replacing the injured Paul Green was the only change in personnel from Saturday's team which saw Lee Peltier moving to left back and Aidy White in a more forward role, and our light blue away strip looked impressive.
Fifteen minutes in we had our lead as the aforementioned Lees rose highest to nod home Ross McCormack's corner, even if it was against the run of play, and my confidence soared. I knew we'd be hard to breakdown and this proved the case.
In fairness Blackpool dominated proceedings and if it wasn't for the brilliance of Paddy Kenny in goal and the post they would have equalised earlier. We did have a couple of half chances from Ross and Becchio but I always felt that we were just hanging on in there.
My worst fears were realised when two quick fire goals from their two subs turned the game on its head, both coming from low crosses from the left, and we just didn't have the strength in dept on the bench to claw this on back.
In truth we were well beaten by a much superior and stronger outfit. Warnock admitted such after the game and was very critical of our forward players for not retaining possession. A fair enough point I suppose but I said this on Saturday and I'll say it again now, we went into defensive mode much too early and having got the one goal lead we were intent on just holding onto that and not going for the jugular to kill off the game. But this seems to be the Warnock way of playing with the limited squad we have. Our bench just isn't strong enough and when we went behind there was just no one to turn to, although leaving a striker on the bench and bringing on a player that is transfer listed and hardly featured pre-season was a bit of a mystery.
So where do we go from here? We definitely need to strengthen our squad. I know that's stating the obvious and it’s not looking likely if Warnock is to be believed. The takeover saga has limited our opportunities to get the strength in depth we'll need to challenge in this division. The loan market looks the most likely route to getting new players in and although it’s not ideal it can be effective. We need more firepower and creativity and this is the type of player Warnock will be looking at. Until then we're stuck with the 18 or so players we have and a few of the youngsters from the academy. What we have is good but needs to be better to sustain a challenge.
The odd win here and there will not do and will lead to mid table mediocrity and the fans, the manager, and the team deserve better than that.
I know we're only two games into the season but it seems like the same old story all over again and that just won't do. We'll travel to Peterborough on Saturday with confidence and hope to get our first win on the road and who knows what the final few days of August will bring. Takeover complete and four new signings with flair creativity and goals galore. I can only dream.
MOT... Leeds Leeds Leeds