Jackett, Hulse and Afobe refuse to blame Blackpool pitch

© NewsAtDen
© NewsAtDen

ROB Hulse and Benik Afobe joined their manager Kenny Jackett in refusing to blame the poor state of the pitch at Bloomfield Road for Millwall’s 2-1 defeat to Blackpool.

The Tangerines’ shoddy playing surface has attracted stinging criticism from several visiting teams this season and cut up badly again on Saturday.

Groundstaff had used sand to cover bare patches on the pitch but that did little to prevent the ball bobbling on divots or slowing down in areas that were particularly muddy.

However, Jackett said: “The pitch gets a lot of press but we knew what it was going to be like before the game, so we can’t offer that as an excuse.

“Back-passes, for instance, have to go wide of the goal and you have to follow them up. You have to do the basics on a poor pitch and make sure you don’t get caught in and around your own box.

“It’s the same for both teams. We adapted to those type of things okay so I would not put the result down to the pitch.”

Hulse, who hit the woodwork twice in the first-half, echoed Jackett’s sentiments. “I think they’ve had the donkeys on it,” he joked, referring to Blackpool’s famous seaside attraction.

He added: “It’s not the best pitch but what can you do?”

Arsenal loanee Afobe claimed he had played on an even worse surface in recent days. “I played for the England U21s against Sweden on a very bad pitch at Walsall last week.

“To be honest, Blackpool was actually a bit better. Any pitch was going to be an improvement on that. The pitch was bad for both teams, all 22 players, so I don’t think we can use it as an excuse.”