Andy Munro travels to see Blues win beside the seaside.
If it was possible to swap my home season ticket for an away one then, despite the travelling, I think I would. Great atmosphere, great results whereas, down at Stans, it’s not exactly home sweet home at the moment.
Blackpool have been going through a rough patch lately and in Blues terms that usually means the opposition are about to get back to winning ways. Even more so, at a ground where we have apparently won just once in nineteen fixtures However, one advantage was that an Inceless Blackpool were definitely less of a threat although it’s never easy in Candy Floss country with a Force Nine gale blowing.
We had the Liverpool wonder kid and Ziggy on the bench so, given our current plight, we had a relatively strong squad. It was good to see Mitch Hancox back in whilst Robbo reverted back to his more comfortable central defending role. Surprisingly(?) Caddis was dropped but he’s hardly been setting the world alight and the dependable Spector was brought back into the fold.
Early on, we had to weather some pressure and went a goal down when we failed to clear but luckily no further goals were scored by the Seasiders. Changes after the break made all the difference when Ziggy came on and we went two up top. This took the load of Macheda whose lack of physical presence and genuine pace means that he’s not really suited to a lone front man role. With Novak, as usual, working his socks off, we looked a different proposition.
Burke was also near his best and, at least when he went off injured, we had an extremely effective replacement in the young Liverpool winger.
It was no surprise when we deservedly equalised through Novak and the same player put us in the lead when Blackpool were down to ten men. Certainly, I’m currently stuffing myself with Desperate Dan portions of humble pie given his goal scoring exploits. We now have two genuine wingers and, when we decide to just play one of them, we have the marauding Hancox back to balance up the play.
The return of Ziggy as an impact sub, is also an extra bonus although he still remains a Marmite figure to many fans who are finding it particularly hard to forgive his lethargic performancs of late.
Meanwhile, the signing of yet another loanee isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given the player’s obvious talent but there must be a concern that this may stymie the progress of young prospects like Arthur, Reece Brown, Bell, Reilly and Gray, the latter giving a good account of himself for England U-18s. Let’s hope not.
All things considered, this was a heartening win but, if the glass is half empty, everybody below us won and it’s made little difference. However, if the glass is half full, then we’ve almost caught the mid table pack and, at the same time, kept a gap between us and those who are threatened by the spectre of relegation. I prefer the latter view.
Finally, it was good to see the ‘new’ regime getting off the mark. Most fans, I suspect, will not mourn the loss of the Chuckle Bros and Lee Clark’s statement smacked of a man ending a love affair with his girlfriend (or vice versa) but insisting that he would like to remain ‘friends’.