Gary Bowyer was pleased with how his debutants fared in an opening day goal-less draw at Wycombe Wanderers.
The Seasiders stood up to a real battle against the newly-promoted side, with eight new players taking to the pitch in tangerine.
Speaking post-match, here’s what the manager had to say…
Strong debuts in fair draw.
It’s a difficult place to come because they (Wycombe) did magnificently last season and got promoted. We knew what to expect in terms of being whipped up and it’s a hell of a battle you’ve got to go into with them. I thought we stood up to that very well.
You forget that the core of their team played last season, we’ve got on the pitch eight making their debuts – that’s eight – and two of those eight were Football League debuts from non-league. I can’t praise our lads enough in terms of how they stuck together, how they fought for each other and then, as they grew into the game, they posed a threat. On the whole the draw was probably a fair result.
New centre-back pairing passes test.
The Beast (Adebayo Akinfenwa) is a fantastic example to everybody in terms of he knows what he is and what he’s good at and what he’s not good at. He sticks to his strengths and it was a real baptism for the two young lads. They’ve probably not come across anybody like that in their careers so far. For the pair of them to be put together – they were only really played together the last two days in training because of the Tilt situation – I thought they were magnificent.
Absence of Tilt from the 18 amidst continued interest.
It’s human nature, it takes a lot out of you mentally. When you’re being linked constantly and there’s been negotiations toing and froing, from what I understand, he just looked a bit mentally drained from it all. You can’t be that going into today’s game. He’s been no problem, and I understand his situation, but I had to make a call for the good of the team.