Football - Ince: Game is getting soft

Blackpool manager Paul Ince claimed the game was getting too soft after seeing his side shrug off the dismissal of Barry Ferguson to defeat promotion-chasing Crystal Palace.

PA Sport

Matt Phillips' 85th-minute strike earned a crucial victory for the Seasiders, moving them three points clear of the drop zone, but they had to do it the hard way.

Ferguson was sent off on 41 minutes after collecting his second yellow card in 10 minutes - the first for a challenge on Kagisho Dikgacoi and the second for body-checking Yannick Bolasie as Palace counter-attacked.

For Ince the second booking was harsh and despite admitting his relief at claiming three points he took issue with referee Andy Haines.

"You start to think whether it's going to be our day with Barry being sent off. It's the last thing we needed against a very good Crystal Palace side," he said.

"I felt it was a harsh decision. I felt the first yellow card was right but the second one, Bolasie has knocked it 20 yards past him and is never going to get it.

"He made a meal of it. You need to show some common sense. The game's getting too soft. I felt the referee got that badly wrong.

"We've got a great bunch of lads and they dug in and got their just deserts as far as I'm concerned.

"It was important we stayed disciplined. The counter-attacking worked a treat. I'm so pleased for Phillips. I was the happiest man in the stadium when he scored that and he deserves it.

"I don't think I can actually find the words to say how happy I am over that performance."

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