Ben Burgess: Great to see players taking responsibility

Blackpool's Mark Cullen

Blackpool's Mark Cullen

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It was great to hear from Blackpool’s Monday match winner Marc Cullen that the surprising run of seven points from the last three games was a result of some home truths in the dressing room.

The Seasiders have potentially rescued their miserable season with the recent results, although it has been far from plain sailing.

I turned up at Bloomfield Road on Friday expecting a galvanised team in Tangerine to put an out of sorts Bury to the sword.

In typical Blackpool fashion they sat back and showed little attacking threat or urgency to win the game.

I talked on the radio at half time about how disappointing they had been thus far and how they needed attacking threats from out and out wingers.

Neil McDonald introduced Bright Samuels and Mark Yeates and dominated the second half, thoroughly deserving the lead that Danny Philliskirk’s penalty gave them.

Unfortunately, Bury scraped an equaliser from their one real chance of the half.

Following on from this I fully anticipated McDonald playing Samuel from the start against a beleaguered Doncaster side.

He’s the one player in the team that can truly run with the ball at pace and cause defenders all sorts of problems.

He didn’t start and it was only after his introduction that Blackpool managed to score the vital winning goal that moved them further away from relegation trouble and pushed Doncaster towards another relegation.

Cullen in his post-match interview pointed out how the players had ‘exchanged’ words after the Oldham defeat a couple of weeks ago. It must have been nice for 
McDonald to see his players take responsibility for the situation they’re in and iron out any differences.

I’ve been in a variety of changing rooms with a plethora of different personalities and only the players that really ‘cared’ would hold a meeting like this.

Only when they really want the manager to stay do they have these frank discussions.

It is certainly harder hitting to be shouted at and criticised by a team-mate whom you consider a good friend than it is by a manager!

Sometimes arguments and honest discussion needs to take place amongst players, or little differences can fester and squads can become fractured and poisonous places.

Blackpool are still reliant on those around them with games in hand, but if they can sort their home performances out and really attack teams then they should be fine come the end of the season.

On the subject of the end of the season, we will get to watch how Roy Hodgson’s new look England team perform in France at Euro 2016.

Tottenham and Leicester’s unexpected achievements this season have allowed Hodgson to witness the rise of some genuine home grown stars.

The likes of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy play with a freedom and expression rarely witnessed in the high pressure melting pot of England games.

The ‘Three Lions’ comeback against world champions Germany was breathtaking at 
times.

The players showed no fear and were too young, energetic and fast for their German counterparts to handle.

What those young inexperienced players don’t need is to be built up to unachievable expectations like many before them.

Hodgson himself didn’t help the euphoria when he announced that the game was his best night as England manager.

This was a slightly embarrassing statement due to the fact he’s managed England for four years and been involved in two major tournaments, yet his best victory was a ‘friendly’ win against 
an understrength Germany!

Predictably, after being put on a pedestal, England suffered defeat to an ‘experimental’ Dutch team at Wembley.

These youngsters are the best group this country has produced for a while but they need to be left alone and allowed to mature and progress without the ridiculous pressure and expectation so often seen in England.

My biggest fear with Hodgson though is that he will revert to type when the first Euro game comes along and into the team will come James Milner, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.

These are all good players but they’re not the future and they’re certainly not ‘form’ players.