Isaiah Osbourne believes that grabbing the first goal is the key to turning around Blackpool’s Championship fortunes, as they prepare for tomorrow’s trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Seasiders haven’t struck first in a league fixture since December’s victory over Blackburn Rovers, a run which stretches back six games.
"We’ve been unlucky in the last couple of games, but I think if we can start putting away a few chances, things will start to look a lot better,” Osbourne said.
"We’ve been conceding the first goal and once we do, it’s a struggle for us to get back into games. Most teams see the way that we play, they know how to make it difficult for us and once they score, they get men behind the ball and basically park the bus.”
Saturday’s game against Wolves comes just over a month since the reverse fixture between the sides at Bloomfield Road. The Midlands outfit won that encounter 2-1, but Osbourne feels that a lot of the damage done by Wolves that day was self-inflicted.
“I thought we were unlucky that day. We conceded two soft goals - I think it was a penalty in the end that won it for them. In the first half we had a shaky first five minutes where we conceded and from there we were chasing the game.
“I think they’re going to be up for it, because they all have something to play for, especially now they’ve got a new manager in. I’m sure it will be a big challenge for us. “
A lot has changed since that game, with both clubs switching managers in the interim. It will be Steve Thompson and Dean Saunders who come head to head in the dugouts at Molineux, after Michael Appleton and Stale Solbakken left their respective sides.
It will be caretaker boss Thompson’s fourth consecutive game in charge of the Tangerines, and Osbourne says that the Blackpool stalwart has now started to implement his own changes on the training field.
“I’ve been off ill for a few days, but going off yesterday and last week he has brought in his own stuff. He’s been trying to make sure that we keep the ball, but also he wants to make sure that we have more runners getting into the box and that we get more crosses in as well.
“Obviously we’ve had managers leave [this season], but that’s just one of those things. When I was at Villa Martin O’Neill left at the start of a season. That was a big blow to me personally, because once he left, I hardly played. We had our ups and downs but he was a big influence for me and I do think I would've been in the first team that season if he hadn't left.
"It’s just part of life, you've just got to do your own thing and concentrate on your football.”