Neil Critchley hailed the impact of ‘pest’ Shayne Lavery after the Northern Ireland international’s goal handed Blackpool a well-deserved 1-0 win over Barnsley.
Lavery’s sixth goal for club and country in all competitions this season came on 32 minutes as he latched on to Keshi Anderson’s perfectly-weighted ball into the left channel and clinically tucked home from a narrow angle.
The 22-year-old was a thorn in Barnsley’s side all afternoon, forcing Tykes goalkeeper Brad Collins into a smart early save after getting on the end of another Anderson cross and also testing the stopper from 15 yards in the second half.
“Shayne was a real pest today – he deserved his goal,” said Blackpool boss Critchley. “He was a real handful for the Barnsley defence and he could have scored more.
“His speed of thought is amazing and he has great positional sense. He attacks spaces so well and he can be a major threat for us.
“He put in an excellent centre-forward’s display.”
Although the game ended 1-0 and Barnsley did have chances of their own, Blackpool were good value for the win.
Collins brilliantly smothered Luke Garbutt’s close-range effort just before Lavery’s opener, while Anderson and Tyreece John-Jules saw second-half attempts go wide.
Critchley added: “I’m very happy of course. We were very good, in the first half particularly, but sometimes when you don’t make it two when you’re on top it can come back to bite you.
“If you just make that one error, especially in this division, it can prove so costly. Overall I thought we deserved the win though.
“We looked more solid again, as we have done in a couple of recent games. We’re getting back to our old selves now I think.
“Hopefully we’re finding our feet in this league, and that’s a big thing for a side that is newly promoted.”
While the Seasiders now have three victories in their last four Championship games, Barnsley’s winless streak in the competition reached seven matches.
The Tykes had their moments at Bloomfield Road – home goalkeeper Chris Maxwell brilliantly palming away Victor Adeboyejo’s crisp effort just before half-time and denying Cauley Woodrow from a tight angle late on.
However, manager Markus Schopp was frustrated by his side’s failure to do the basics correctly across the course of the game.
“We did struggle in that first 45 minutes and we didn’t really deal with the most important duels well enough,” explained Schopp.
“It was too easy for them when we conceded the goal. It’s just not good enough, and I’ve said that before this season.
“The lads know that they can do so much better, but again one single error in defence has proved very costly for us.
“In the Championship we know it’s a very tough league, and everybody has to learn fast.
“We have got a very young squad here but that’s definitely not an excuse. First of all we have to look at the basic things we’ve not done.
“We need to improve our away form, everyone can see that. We’ve got two home games to come now though.
“We’ll find the right words and the right decisions ahead of the next game and hopefully that will help to get us the result we need.”
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