Ben Burgess: Those on outside can’t arrest current slump

Blackpool's Brad Potts
Blackpool's Brad Potts
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After another despairingly low week for Blackpool FC, I can’t help but feel that the only people with a true grip on the reality of Blackpool’s perilous position in both the league and as a football club are those outside of it!

Sadly we’re the ones that can’t really make the changes to arrest the slump.

Will Watt has elaborated on that point this week and whenever I bump into Blackpool fans, the conversation invariably comes around to the dire position the club are in.

I even received a letter recently from an exiled Seasiders fan in Worcestershire who explained to me his disappointment at the situation, having been a fan since the 1960s.

After last week’s capitulation at Millwall, Neil McDonald stated: “We’ve let ourselves down for the first time in ages.”

I’m sure that wasn’t said to deliberately wind the long-suffering fans up but one can only expect it certainly did.

It’s like Aston Villa blaming their league position on a “few bad decisions”.

In Sir Alex Ferguson’s book ‘Leading’, he explains that often in post-match interviews he would complain about decisions or injuries etc just to divert the criticism away from his team.

In the privacy of the dressing room, though, he would leave those players in no doubt that they have to sort themselves out.

All we can hope is that McDonald is protecting his relatively young and inexperienced side from exterior criticism, but giving them the Fergie treatment behind closed doors.

The Seasiders now face a massive double header. Up first is Coventry City at home and then the relegation crunch game at Boundary Park against a resurgent Oldham. A return of four points from those two games could see the Tangerines edge away from the drop zone, but with the teams around them putting good runs together, like Fleetwood and Shrewsbury, it’s imperative that points are picked up immediately.

As daft as it sounds, I can see a victory over Coventry at Bloomfield Road.

Coventry have hit their own slump of late and lost to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday. They also tend to struggle on their travels to the seaside. I remember that I even scored a few goals against them over the years in some convincing victories.

On the subject of those good times, I received a phone call recently asking if I could make a playing return.

The call was from super Brett Ormerod asking if I could turn out for his testimonial game.

Sadly, my impending knee replacement and threats from the surgeon meant that I had to turn down the request to play.

I am determined to be involved in some capacity in what should be great celebration for a fantastic man. Maybe I could be on the Tannoy, so I can make some jokes at the ex-players’ performances as they try to roll back the years.

The terribly sad part of the Brett testimonial announcement is that he will not be hosting it at the ground he loves so much, the ground where he became a true hero and really kick-started his career.

I fully understand his decision and I’m sure all the fans that he’s entertained over the years are right behind him. AFC Fylde’s new stadium will still be a fantastic venue, though, and they look to be a club that could really take off soon.

They are getting the important infrastructure in place and just need a strong finish to the season to try and grab the all important promotion spot in their league.

Whether they get promotion this year or next it’s still great to see another ambitious club in the area (along with Fleetwood)!