Karl Oyston to give Jose Riga the 'support he needs'

Blackpool owner Karl Oyston has finally confirmed that he intends to back manager Jose Riga for the Championship season.

The Seasiders finally won their first point of the season at the weekend, with a 0-0 draw with Wolves concluded by the fans giving the team a standing ovation as they left the pitch.

Having failed to speak since transfer deadline day, Oyston approached two potential candidates to replace Riga, and publicly revealed his disappointment at his current employee. However, his actions drew criticism from many sections of the media, with Riga praised for his humility to continue to work despite his career on the coast looking over.

Riga was vocally supported by the Bloomfield Road crowd, who have expressed their public backing of their manager ahead of their owner, and it appears as if Oyston has finally relented and is willing to show the Belgian coach support.

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Oyston revealed that he and Riga had a lengthy talk after Saturday’s game, clearing the air of any rifts, and laying out the future vision for the club.

He said: “After the game, Jose Riga and I had a really productive chat for more than an hour, one which was much-needed. We discussed what’s right, what’s wrong and what we need to do better, particularly between ourselves.

“We had a lengthy chat and covered everything, no holds barred. It’s now about how we both respond to that.

“I’m happy to give him the support he needs and hopefully things can move forward now.”

The owner had previously been unwilling to support Riga in footballing matters, refusing to sanction any deals on transfer dealing day - a move that caused the Belgian to return to his home country for a few days during the international break.

However, Oyston has accepted that he was in the wrong, and has declared that building the relationship between owner and manager is vastly important.

“I’ve now spoken to Jose about his return to Belgium and I accept his explanation on that,” the owner continued.

“We both understand the single most important relationship in any football club is the one between the manager and the chairman and if that isn’t right and you aren’t working to help each other then the club will struggle.

“I as chairman has to feel like I want to support the manager in what he wants to do and how he wants to improve, by the same token the manager has to be positive and help me to help him.

“I think we would both agree, and this is by no way a criticism of him, that’s not happened.

“That relationship hasn’t been working like it absolutely has to and that’s one of the main things we spoke about on Saturday.”

With the news of Riga’s continuation as head coach, he will likely receive a heroes welcome as he leads his team out tonight, looking to claim his first win of the season against Watford.

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