Mark Robins insisted it was a poor first-half performance rather than James Vaughan’s late missed penalty which cost Town all three Championship points against Blackpool.

The top scorer drove an 82nd-minute spot kick against the bar having earlier cancelled out Ricardo Fuller’s opener for the visitors, who ended the exciting Sky-televised match, which finished 1-1, with 10 men after Angel Martinez’s red card following the penalty concession.

Vaughan now has 10 goals for the season, and manager Robins, who hailed teenager Duane Holmes after a lively league debut from the bench, said: “There is no blame from me over the penalty.

“James is a striker, he wants to score goals, so he wants to take penalties. There’s a lot of pressure, sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.”

Vaughan, whose leveller came in the 62nd minute, also had a goal disallowed for offside late in the first half, and Robins reckons it should have stood, but the boss admitted: “We didn’t deserve to be level at the break, because in the first half , we were diabolical, and that’s what cost us.

 

“We knew Blackpool were without a couple of important players, and we had a plan to go for the jugular, but we just didn’t do what we needed to.

“We ended up slowing the game down and getting anxious, and I was very disappointed.

“But in the second half I got exactly what I wanted, and the introduction of Sean Scannell and Duane Holmes, who is a talent to be nurtured, had the effect needed.”

Robins, whose side moved up to eighth before today’s games, will watch Leicester play Barnsley before starting preparations for Town’s trip to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Boro are away to leaders QPR this afternoon.