Date: 7th December 2016 at 4:08pm
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Manager Gary Bowyer has given his thoughts on Blackpool’s progression through to round three of the EFL Trophy this season.

With the new Academy Under 23 format, albeit mainsteam media reverting to an U21 tag presumably with hopes of disguising the fact Academy sides are featuring experienced pros and in some cases international calibre players, Blackpool had a more sensible second round tie against Doncaster Rovers yesterday evening.

Although the scores ended one all at full time, penalties saw us progress through to tomorrow’s draw with an eight seven victory.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, a very pleased manager passed all the credit onto the players, especially as he made ten changes for the match given knocks we had and people who needed a rest.

‘I’m delighted for the lads and the supporters that came this far on a Tuesday night, we really appreciate their support. Yesterday we only had three players from Saturday that trained with us, so we had to make the changes anyway. You’ve seen what an honest bunch of lads I’ve got and we’ve really enjoyed coming here today and performing like we have done.’

With a change of system as well as players for the game, Bowyer went on to praise the squad on that front as they had only done one session on it.

‘We had one session on it yesterday, with the shape, and the way we went about it was terrific. I felt that we should have been leading by more than one at half-time. Darren then has to make his changes and brings two of his first-team players on from Saturday that strengthened them, obviously. We were then on the back foot a little bit but grew into the game again and created two great chances. I’m not sure they were both offside so we felt hard done by with that. We’re delighted to get the result.’

With Mark Cullen and Armand Gnanduillet striking up a decent partnership and putting in a decent set of showings, they also came in for praise from the gaffer.

‘They were a real handful, especially first-half, they were terrific. They showed what back-up we’ve got there and the quality that we’ve got there. I feel sorry for the pair of them, they want to be playing more and I understand that. The timing of it for Cully especially is the one that has been frustrating for him because he’d just scored at Barnet, gets injured and finds himself out of the team. But when striker’s are scoring goals you’ve got to stick with them.’

With so many changes there were also opportunities for youth players in the match.

‘Christian and Rowan have been with us and it’s been a great experience for them. To get Roachey on the pitch was good and the manner in which he took his penalty shows the confidence that he’s got in his ability.’

And of course he had to end with a comment or two about the return of Jack Redshaw.

‘I’m absolutely delighted for him, it’s been a frustrating time for him. But the strength of character that he’s got has been brilliant, and we said that in the meeting before the game – we had to go and display that mentality that Jack’s shown. I’m delighted that he got on the pitch and scored his penalty as well.’

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