That old “resting players and concentrating on the League” tactic didn’t quite have the desired effect on Saturday.
There was certainly extra scrutiny on Blackpool after their ‘squad’ players were torn apart by League Two Barnet and beaten by an out-of-sorts Wigan – eliminating any ‘fairytale’ cup run.
Then again, who would have really benefitted from a money spinning cup draw?
Saturday’s dismal defeat to Doncaster Rovers brought back bad memories of earlier in the season when the likes of Burton and Walsall were swaggering around Bloomfield Road without a care in the world.
Many of us thought that the team had pulled together since then, and that they finally had a way of playing that was at least making them hard to beat.
But five defeats on the spin allayed with conceding 13 goals in the process has thrown Neil McDonald back to the beginning in his quest to build a stable team.
He will have to hope he can work some miracles in the loan market ahead of another tough away trip at Southend.
Even worse news came from the unlikely location of New Zealand. Henry Cameron who had performed magnificently to earn an international call up at just 18 was forced off the pitch against Oman after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
This is not only a devastating blow for such a young player, but also for a Blackpool side already low on quality and numbers.
I know all about how Cameron is feeling.
I hope for his sake that he has ‘only’ torn his cruciate and not the surrounding ligaments.
I was 21 when I tore my anterior, posterior, medial ligaments and meniscus (amongst others), whilst playing for Hull City.
When I was lay on the physio bed in agony getting an injection in my bum to numb the pain, all I could think of was a quote from a previous manager, “There’s only two kinds of players I’m not interested in, and they are suspended and injured ones!”
Hopefully Cameron hasn’t got any complications and his recovery is straight-forward.
This kind of injury is now common place and often has no lasting impact.
Already, in the Premier League alone, Danny Ings, Callum Wilson, Tim Krul, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel have torn their ACL’s.
The hardest part for any injured player is the fact you’re not really involved with the rest of the players.
You come to the training ground earlier to get treatment, you’re in the gym whilst the others are training and then as your team mates head home you settle down for more treatment and gym work!
It becomes extremely monotonous and the saddest element of it all is that the physio becomes your best mate!
Cameron has an experienced physio in Phil Horner, who has managed to outstay every other member of staff at Bloomfield Road.
It will also be important for Phil and the Gaffer to keep him involved with the rest of the team and not allow him to get depressed at his situation.
Away from Blackpool, it’s certainly been an interesting week of international football.
There were joyous celebrations in Dublin as my adopted country of Ireland deservedly qualified for the European Championships, thanks to my ex-team mate Jonathon Walters double against Bosnia.
Then came the shock and despair at the Stade de France, and the heart warming show of solidarity between England and France at Wembley.
Football, while paling into insignificance in the face of such devastation, can in it’s own way bring people together like nothing else.
Watching English and French people sing the La Marseillaise in unison was a wonderful sight indeed.