Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Monday March 23 2009
Blackpool's controversial penalty won them a share of the spoils at Bloomfield Road but left Saints boss Mark Wotte unsure about the value of the point his side had gained.
After an uninspiring and lacklustre first-half performance, the Saints improved dramatically after the break, upping their game to fight back and cancel out DJ Campbell's 19th minute penalty. David McGoldrick scored a superb solo goal, working hard to find space in the box before composing himself and firing past the onlooking Paul Rachubka in the Blackpool goal. The Saints almost snatched all three points right at the death but Andrew Surman's 94th minute free-kick rattled the post, much to the dismay of the 1,000 plus travelling fans.
Speaking to www.saintsfc.co.uk after the game, Wotte said, "I don't care if it was deserved or not, if you have a free-kick in the last second of the match and you hit the post then you are so unbelievably close to three points.
"I think it wasn't our best game in the first half," he continued. "We had to get ourselves adapted to the pitch which was horrible.
"I don't want to say something about the referee but I don't think it was in our favour and for the penalty the boys were absolutely 100 per cent sure that it wasn't one."
The Bloomfield Road pitch really was in appalling condition, and Wotte made a change at half-time that would help Saints to adapt to the terrible environment, bringing on veteran midfielder Paul Wotton in place of Morgan Schneiderlin.
"To be honest we had to do more so I made the change at half-time to put Paul Wotton into the team and I think that was a good decision because then we were constantly winning balls.
"You cannot play the way we want to play on this pitch so you have to fight to win the ball - Paul Wotton with Simon Gillett on the right helped us. Morgan Schneiderlin is a good player but on a good pitch.
"I made the decision to put Paul on for some winning mentality. We were fighting and fighting and trying to get opportunities to score the first goal and then until the last minute we were playing to win and I think we were very unlucky not to score a second goal."
Wotte was visibly angered by the penalty decision whilst standing on the touchline during the game, and rightly so! Even after being given time to calm down and reflect on the game, the Dutch boss couldn't hide his anger and frustration at the referee's decision.
"I did not think it was a penalty," he said. "It was ridiculous. It took the referee two or three seconds to take the decision, which is never good because a referee's first instinct is usually the best one.
"We got something out of this game though and deserved at least a point, so we will see at the end of the season if it's a valuable point or not.
"We are on a good run and I know we needed three points but I cannot judge right now if we lost two points or if we won one today."
Date:Monday March 23 2009
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Stats: Stoke v Southampton (Wednesday October 29 2014)
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Players Respond To Stoke Win (Sunday October 26 2014)
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Stats: Southampton v Stoke (Saturday October 25 2014)
Krueger - A Special Day We Will Remember (Wednesday October 22 2014)
One Game At A Time, But We're Aiming For Better (Wednesday October 22 2014)
A Look Back to A Saintly Beginning (Monday October 20 2014)
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