Tough at the bottom, but Lenihan relishing Blackpool loan spell

Brian Lenihan: Played before 20,000 fans at Elland Road.

After being thrown in at the deep end for Blackpool last week, Cork native Brian Lenihan is relishing the remainder of his loan stint with the Championship strugglers.

The 20-year-old’s first taste of competitive English football since his July move from Cork City came in front of almost 20,000 fans at Elland Road.

The noise from the home fans in Lenihan’s ears upped a notch in tandem with the three goals his side shipped in the opening 45 minutes.

This was a marked difference from the serenity of reserve football with Hull City.

“It was a brilliant experience to play at Elland Road,” reflected Lenihan of the game his new team lost 3-1.

“The first-half was difficult going as we fell three goals behind but we improved in the second, although it was too late to save the game.”

The College Corinthians product is certainly in at the deep end, having joined a club lurching from one crisis to another.

Marooned at the foot of the Championship by nine points after only 17 games, the Seasiders are heading into the third tier just four years on from their stint in the Premier League.

Lenihan’s reputation as a full-back with bundles of pace to support the attack has attracted comparisons with Seamus Coleman, his compatriot who flourished during Blackpool’s promotion season of 2010.

The arrival of the latest Irishman to Bloomfield Road comes in altogether circumstances, however, with him intent of helping out at the bottom rather than top of the Championship.

He said: “Things haven’t worked out for Blackpool so far this season but everyone is working hard to change that. All the lads have helped me settle in straight away, especially Charles Dunne who played for Ireland’s U21s last season, so I’m going to enjoy the month I spend at the club.”

Lenihan had barely landed in England when he netted a shock call-up to the Ireland senior squad for last month’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Germany, fending off competition from the likes of Wolves regular Matt Doherty.

“I don’t think Martin O’Neill has seen me play but his assistant Roy Keane had been to a few of the games I played for Cork City,” he explained.

“To train with the squad was brilliant and a big step-up in quality. We played a full training match and I got to mark James McClean, so that was a great experience.”


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