Blackpool

Blackpool finally showing some signs of improvement
22nd December 2015

Sometimes when I write these blogs, I feel like I repeat myself. The amount of times I’ve talked about the importance of “following up” a victory with a run of performances, or “turning a corner” following a poor run of form must be near the double figures mark now.

A run of six defeats without scoring has been halted after three wins on the bounce, and Neil McDonald’s side look like they’ve turned the corner!

The Seasiders are now four points clear of the relegation zone in 17th place, and with their next two fixtures against two sides occupying bottom four places (Oldham and Barnsley), Pool have a huge chance of creating some breathing space between themselves and those below them.

Last Saturday’s victory against Peterborough was arguably Pool’s most impressive performance of the three wins. They looked solid in defence and counter-attacked very effectively; with McDonald opting to stick with the 4-1-3-2 formation which worked so well against Wigan the week before.

2nd May 2015 - Sky Bet Championship - Blackpool v Huddersfield Town - A general view (GV) of Bloomfield Road - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Blackpool have recorded five victories in a row.

Will Aimson played in front of the back four, and having him sitting in that role was vital in earning Blackpool a third clean sheet in as many games.

Up front, Elliot Lee started his second game for the club following his loan move from West Ham, and looked a real threat partnering Mark Cullen. Lee won the penalty which Cullen converted via a rebound, and Lee’s all-round performance caught the eye. His movement and liveliness around the Peterborough box caused the Posh backline problems all afternoon.

Away from the pitch, there have been some positives to mention for a change! Some of Pool’s players took time out to visit local children’s hospital, Brian’s House. This has been something of a tradition for players over previous years around Christmas time.

Given the calamitous 12 months the club have had, one would hardly be surprised if this visit would not be maintained under current circumstances. The only problem with this story is that it wasn’t highlighted and made a fuss about. The relationship between Blackpool as a club and the local Gazette newspaper is still a fractious one.

Yet, in a week of McDonald talking about a desire to “change the perception” of Blackpool, it seems bizarre why the Gazette wasn’t informed of the visit. It would have made great PR to get a back-page spread dedicated to the great gesture from Pool’s players, and highlighting the great work staff at Brian House do throughout the year.

Another story which was pleasing to read involved Carlisle United. Given the tragic floods that have devastated the city, Pool have agreed to host The Cumbrian outfit’s FA Cup third round tie against Yeovil Town. Brunton Park has been damaged by the floods, leaving Carlisle without a home ground for the foreseeable future.

Other North West clubs, including Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, have also offered their grounds to Carlisle, which is a great touch and shows the power football has in uniting communities and bringing people together.

For the first time in a while, things are starting to look brighter at Blackpool. How long this will last remains to be seen…

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