Kevin Blackwell’s thoughts on Saturdays 2-2 draw with Bournemouth
“I think that anyone that paid to see that game has got their money’s worth. That was a great game, a great advert for league one football. It was an absolute corking game and I am so proud of the players after that.
We knew that we would come up against a good Bournemouth side. You just have to look at their transfer activity this week where they have brought two players in for the same amount that is out budget for the whole of the club.
I’m just so proud of them, there are six of them under the age of 20, they were fantastic. We know that we have to pick up their learning curves but if they continue to give me everything like that, then there is no way are we a bottom four side.
Five or six weeks ago, who knows what would have happened, but now we are very frustrated not to have won the game. Six weeks ago, we didn’t know how to win a game, now we are frustrated when we don’t win them.
It’s easy for a manager to come to the press and say this that and the other, but for me – I thought the lads were fantastic and they will only learn from it. We know the loan players will go back to their parent clubs but we must be doing something right.
I am so proud of the players and I said to them that when they come up against a team with the quality of ball that we have seen, and with a young side. Six of these players were playing in the FA Youth Cup last year. That’s what’s fantastic, how they have developed. We have a good shape, a good work ethic. We rushed things at time in crucial stages, but that’s youth, that’s the impetuosity of youth. They tick all the boxes.
To get that close and we knew that it was a big game on Saturday. It was also a test of two form teams as well. It was a real credit, two good teams. If I was a scout and I came to look at Bury Football Club, you would have to go back and say that there are some exciting young players performing down at Bury at the moment. If we cannot swell the crowd in terms of spectators, then we will swell it in terms of scouts.
Our first goal was absolutely first class. If you had seen that in the premier league, with the movement, the clever step over, the delivery and the finish – it was absolutely first class. Our set plays have been very good. We have looked sharp and I think it came off Tom Soares to maybe go 2-0 just before half time.
When you work with players and you see in their eyes that they want to learn and they want to be with you. That’s a great feeling as a coach. When they go out and they perform like that, it’s great. Fred Barber said something the other day – our Achilles heel at the moment is half time. We are playing so well that I think the opposition are happy to get to half time. Maybe we have to learn to kill the game off before half time.
We had to hang on a little bit in the second half, you expect that from a side that has the quality that they have. They have two owners that want to take the club forward. You expect them to give you some sort of trouble in the game.
Again, I don’t think Trevor Carson had too many saves to make, if any at all. We’ve talked about how to defend and we’ve really worked hard on that and its paid dividends really. Bournemouth had the quality and we knew that if they had the chances then they could finish them – they didn’t disappoint. Their first goal was a first goal, but ours was much better.
I have to praise the referee, there has been many a time where you see a referee that is so arrogant where if they are seen to change their mind and a decision, it’s a flaw against them and their character. But to be fair to Mr Boyeson, he took his time, he spoke to his assistant and they both agreed that he headed the ball and to be fair to him, he came back and made the right decision and we have to give him a lot of credit for that.
The lads are confident. I’ve told them that they are playing one of the better teams in this division and they have shown that they have every right to be proud. If we had started the season ten games ago, we’d be second or third in the table. For me, this could have been a top two or three clash – that’s the form that both sides have been in. These lads have nothing to fear. The confidence will come by making sure that Gigg Lane is a tough place to come to, and they are doing just that. We are winning games and moving up the table.
When I came in, we were so far adrift that it was going to take a long time to move out of the bottom four. Once we get out of the bottom four, I think we can move, and you will see us move quickly. It was important that we built on what we did last week and the weeks before. Let’s keep it going.”
Watch the full video interview on Shakers Player