What a pleasure it was to watch a hard working, resilient Blackpool side earn a draw at Coventry City on Saturday.
This was a Coventry team boasting quality and experience throughout, and also one that can afford to sign Joe Cole on loan!
There certainly couldn’t have been many fans travelling to the Ricoh Arena that expected a Blackpool clean sheet, but that’s exactly what Pool deserved.
This Blackpool team has become resilient and now have the experience to manage games and stay organised when under intense pressure.
The stand out performer, and the person who I believe has the biggest influence on The Tangerines’ mean defence is Tom Aldred.
Since he was drafted back into the side weeks ago, he has added experience, aggression and discipline to the heart of the rear guard.
He may not have been as strong as Marc Antoine-Fortune on Saturday, or as quick as young star Adam Armstrong, but he kept putting his body on the line, and kept coming back for more.
Blackpool’s game plan nearly worked perfectly when Mark Cullen held off two giant defenders to go one on one with Coventry’s goalie, but he just slipped the ball wide.
If he had scored, then we might have had some sort of reaction from the Coventry faithful who remained eerily quiet throughout.
The most positive news came after the match as Neil McDonald announced his decision to stay and finish the job he started, thus resisting the attractive option to join his mate, ‘Big Sam’ at Sunderland.
This was followed up with another resilient display in earning a battling draw with Millwall.
I managed to catch up with Blackpool’s most famous ex-Coventry and Faroe Island international, Claus Jorgenson.
We discussed at length how awful the situation is at Bloomfield Road and how sad it is for the fans who’ve had to see the club they love being destroyed.
We tried to analyse the options there are to improve the situation, and there aren’t many other than the obvious.
Thankfully, we didn’t spend all our time talking about the quagmire of Blackpool’s problems.
We reminisced about the good times we had, the funny things that happened in the changing rooms, the brilliant and the not so brilliant teammates we worked alongside.
And not to forget the multitude of deflected goals Claus scored (just think Sheffield United away on Boxing day).
Eventually we moved onto coaching and how much things have changed in that arena.
Claus coaches at the Coventry Academy and recently went to seek advice from Rob Edwards who has done fantastically well to work his way up from Wolves U18 coach to first team coach in just over 12 months.
It isn’t just simply a case of taking the players onto the pitch and doing five-a-sides anymore.
Clubs have coaching curriculums, players have targets and there’s lots of paperwork.
----Coaching is an area that I’m starting to take more of an interest in and I’m really enjoying coaching the girls and boys’ football teams at school (alongside Mr Smith, I must add).
It’s lovely to see when the children take on board what we say and then apply it in a game situation. Of course results are important, but seeing the children play with a smile on their faces and working hard for their team mates is a joy to see. We want the children to pass the ball and move, not for them to panic and get rid of it.
Mistakes will happen but learning from them is how we all improve. Special mention to our girls’ team whose hard work paid off as they won 9-2 last week!