Ben Burgess column: Everything’s clicked into place for Blackpool

Ben Burgess
Ben Burgess

Everything finally clicked for Blackpool on Saturday and in this form they look unbeatable.

Slowly the team have been picking up form and consistency over the last few weeks and this current five game unbeaten run is testament to that.

Going into the game Notts County were in the play-off positions and under current manager John Sheridan are always dangerous.

In fact, it was Sheridan’s managerial acumen that enabled Oldham to escape relegation last season and push Blackpool over the edge and into League 2.

The Seasiders dominated to such an extent that it could and should have been 6 or 7 – 0.

Jamille Matt will not want to be reminded of his open goal miss again.

Sheridan even admitted that in his 500 (ish) games as manager that was the worst performance he’d seen from any of his teams.

It’s easy to blame defeat on your team having an off day but their real issue was that they couldn’t handle the pace, power and strength of Gary Bowyer’s men.

Once again the team took the lead in devastating fashion thanks to Kyle Vassell. Every week I praise his performances but I honestly think he’s the best striker Blackpool have signed for about four years.

It’s not just the fact that he scored two goals against Notts County, it’s the fact he has the awareness to make assists, he chases and harries defenders and what I like the most is that he encourages those around him.

This was none more evident than when Matt missed his previously mentioned open goal.

The first player over there to help him to his feet and tell him to keep his head up was Vassell. Despite the off field goings on there seems to be a real team spirit building amongst the squad.

This has been lacking for a number of years and has been one of the contributing factors to the relegations suffered at Bloomfield Road.

This week the players took part in some fun Go-Kart races, although any footballer will tell you that these are anything but fun. Instead they’re highly competitive.

That is unless you were me when we went Go Karting under Simon Grayson. I believe even to this day I was stitched up with the faulty kart.

Despite flooring the accelerator I was going so slow and looked so big that I resembled Donkey Kong in Mario Kart.

It also didn’t help that for a ‘laugh’ Keigan Parker had spun his kart around and was driving head on into all the oncoming traffic!

Gary Bowyer has quietly got on with his job and his level headed approach of never being too high after victory and never being too despondant after defeat has moved his side to within one point of the top six.

I can’t help but think that his ex-team Blackburn Rovers would gladly have him back as they languish in the Championship.

On the subject of ex-managers, Blackpool’s most successful one of recent times, Ian Holloway, has finally landed his dream job (again) at QPR.

Ollie guided Crystal Palace to promotion after leaving Bloomfield Road but then suffered a disappointing spell at Millwall and having watched him recently on Sky, I could tell that he was getting bored with TV work.

Ollie is an infectious guy who loves to be on the training ground everyday, having banter with his players and staff and putting his abundance of ideas into practice.

He’s always spoken of his fondness for QPR where he spent a number of years as both a player and manager.

His task will be a tough one at a club that appears to have too many people making decisions (the chairman, Les Ferdinand etc) and also a club that has little patience with managers.

If anyone can galvanise a club and transform their fortunes then Ollie is certainly that man.