Midfielder Pleased Overall With Full Debut
Neal Bishop was in familiar surroundings on Saturday afternoon having grown up just a few miles down the road from Middlesbrough.
The summer signing made his full Blackpool debut in the 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium in a not too familiar left-wing role; a position that he was more than willing to play in though.
"I've been a Middlesbrough fan my whole life so to make my full debut here was a dream come true. It was fantastic to be on the pitch and I loved every minute of it, but I was gutted at the end that we couldn't quite hold on because when we got the goal I think the lads at the back dealt with everything that they threw at us.
"It's disappointing to lose the two points but we will take the positives and move on to next Saturday.
"When the gaffer asked me to do a job out there I was shocked to be honest, but once I got my head round it you could see where he was coming from. There is a threat down the flanks from their two (Mustapha Carayol and Albert Adomah) and he asked me and Bash to do a job and we were more than happy to do it."
Time and time again The Seasiders were able to snuff out Boro's attacks right up until the last minute of stoppage time when Marvin Emnes placed in the equaliser, but Bishop refused to get too down, admitting seven points out of a possible nine is a good return.
"We nullified them until the last ten or 15 minutes when they got on top of us, but the lads at the back were fantastic and I don't think Gillo was tested until the ball went in the back of the net. I'm sure we will do that to some teams over the course of the season as these things tend to even themselves out, but like I say we will take the positives and hopefully get the three points next Saturday.
"Obviously we (myself and Chris Basham) are a bit different to Matty Phillips and Thomas Ince, but when those two are injured and you look at your squad, you have to find different ways to get results and different ways of playing. Fair play to the gaffer he tried something different; it could have gone wrong, but we worked on it, we all knew our jobs and it very nearly came off.
"It is disappointing, we've come here to Middlesbrough and matched them and I think we deserved the three points overall, but it is what it is - they got the last minute equaliser and we can't afford to get too down about it."
Blackpool's other north east lad was the man who got the goal and although he doesn't get many, he reacted with a goalscorer's instinct to put The Seasiders ahead and Bishop had nothing but praise for his team mate after the match.
"He's a north east lad like myself and I'm delighted for him, he was fantastic and he's one of the nicest lads I've ever met in football. If the gaffer asked him to play in goal I'm sure he would do a job there!
"He really is a top, top man and he deserved his goal today."