MIDDLESBROUGH are going to have to cure their travel sickness quickly after suffering a horror showing at the seaside.
Boro were glad to hear the final whistle at bogey ground Bloomfield Road after conceding four goals to high-flying Blackpool in a 4-1 defeat.
But any relief that their pain was over soon evaporared when they realised that they must next travel to a side even higher than Blackpool – leaders Blackburn on Friday Night.
Nathan Delfouneso enjoyed a full debut to remember as Blackpool stormed past Middlesbrough.
The on-loan Aston Villa striker netted twice in the first-half before laying on in-form winger Tom Ince to coolly finish 10 minutes after the interval.
By that point Andre Bikey had headed home to hand Boro a lifeline, but Mowbray’s side were second best for long periods as they fell to a third consecutive away loss.
Blackpool sub Elliot Grandin was brought down by Bikey and rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot, despite Delfouneso being on the pitch to claim a hat-trick denied to him by the linesman’s flag moments earlier.
Boro boss Tony Mowbray admitted his side had not played well, and praised Ince for another dazzling performance.
“I’m very disappointed,” he admitted. “I would have to say Blackpool played very well and they’ve done that every week.
“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.
“I think we had formulated the right game plan, we had speed out wide to counter-attack, but they kept playing the ball in behind which doesn’t allow you to nick the ball quickly and it makes things difficult.
“We started brightly but the two goals knocked the stuffing out of us and they played well.
“It’s too early to say who will finish well and the next time we play them we might well be ahead of them – you just don’t know.”
SEE Wednesday’s Mail for full story