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27 April 2022

Following our 2-0 defeat at home to Blackpool on Tuesday evening, Martin Devaney says he is aiming to remain upbeat and hopes that transcends through to the players heading into the final two fixtures of the campaign.

Goals in either half from Owen Dale and Oliver Casey ensured the visitors returned to Lancashire with all three points in another game where the Reds struggled to create chances.

“I’m disappointed, obviously,” began Devaney. “It didn’t go how I wanted it, but I knew it was always going to be a tough task. I was just trying to be that positive person that I am, how I like to lead.

“Blackpool are a good side and that’s why they’ve finished where they have finished, and it was difficult for us. It was difficult to get on the front foot, difficult to set any sort of tempo.

“I’m really disappointed with the two goals, but I think that’s just the story of the year, really; the counter-attack, not winning second balls, ball played in behind. Then the second goal is a set-piece; we’ve conceded far too many of them goals.

“It’s disappointing, but I’ve got to stay as positive as I can for the lads, but most importantly, I’m pleased to see a lot of fans there. They did their best even though it was difficult, trying to keep us going and keep us motivated.

“So, I want to say thank you to all the fans for turning up, sorry they didn’t go home with that smile on their face, but we’ve got two more games and we’ll try and do our best to win those football matches. That’s all we can do, and that’s all I can do.”

After taking over first team affairs on Sunday, our interim head coach only had a couple of days to prepare for his first assignment in the Oakwell dugout.

He is hopeful that, moving forward, he can get his ideas across to the players and end the season strongly.

“I can’t change much,” he admitted. “It’s been a long season; I’ve got three games and I’ve had one training session to try and change things and implement my style.

“But we’ll keep trying to do it, we’ll keep the lads motivated, come in on Thursday and Friday and analyse the game and see the little things that we did do well and the areas we need to improve.

“That’s what I’ve got to do for the next 10 days and two games moving forward – try and keep the lads as positive as we can.”

There was no Amine Bassi, Claudio Gomes or Domingos Quina against Blackpool, with the trio heading back to their respective clubs following their loan moves.

Within the squad were a few faces from our U23s set-up. Isaac Christie-Davies, fresh from his first appearance at Huddersfield Town on Friday, was handed his full debut, while Aiden Marsh and young Israeli defender Amir Ariely were also amongst the substitutes.

“We were missing a few players – the loan players,” discussed Devaney. “I played a few of the younger boys and it’s good to see them get the opportunity, and that will only help and aid them in their careers and futures.

“All around, it’s a disappointing result, but good to see two or three of the younger boys get a chance.”

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