Holloway impressed by players

PA Sport
Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough
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Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway revelled in his player options after a 4-1 win over Middlesbrough at Bloomfield Road, with a brace for the on-loan Nathan Delfouneso on his home debut.

Holloway made six changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Barnsley at the weekend, and Delfouneso was a revelation in attack alongside Thomas Ince and Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

The Aston Villa striker gave Blackpool a 2-0 lead from which the visitors never recovered and had Holloway purring at some of his side's play.

"I have to learn to be ruthless and just pick people, which is very difficult to do," Holloway said. "The lads realise there's a lot of competition, but what we've got to do is keep going and going.

"I made six changes and the freshness showed. To be able to bring off Incey, who was playing superb and bring (Matt) Phillips on, there was goosebumps on my neck. Angel Martinez, Sylvestre, didn't play. It's how they take that though. I'm absolutely delighted, it's as well as we've played."

Delfouneso latched onto a Taylor-Fletcher flick and coolly slotted past Jason Steele for his first goal, and fired home from 18 yards after Ince had robbed George Friend for his second.

The only surprise was Middlesbrough pulled a goal back shortly before the break, Andre Bikey heading in after a melee in the box. But Blackpool were equally effective after the break, Ince running onto a ball behind the defence and riding a tackle from Friend to slot the ball into an empty net.

Substitute Elliot Grandin then won a penalty and tucked the spot kick away late on, to the disappointment of Delfouneso who also had a goal ruled out for offside.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray said: "I'm very disappointed. I would have to say Blackpool played very well and they've done that every week so far.

"Their wide players have picked up accolades and Ince was superb. I could sit here and complain about this and that but they were superb. Blackpool do not let you play the game you want to and we were below par, but Blackpool were terrific."

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