Will Watt: What Blackpool need to do to get those 15 safety points

There were as many Bradford fans as Blackpool at the last home game
There were as many Bradford fans as Blackpool at the last home game
20
Have your say

After a week of hearing how much trouble Blackpool are in at the bottom of the table, what exactly do they have to do to survive?

Obviously wins will make a huge difference and it’s going to take a dramatic shift in results for Blackpool to drag themselves out of trouble.

So far this season Pool have averaged exactly a point a game, with 71 per cent of those points coming at Bloomfield Road.

In recent seasons the average League One survival mark has been at 48, though Crewe need 51 to ensure their safety last season.

With many of the teams in jeopardy making good progress recently, 50 would appear to be the target figure this time around.

That means Pool need 15 points from their final 11 games. Continuing with their current average of a point a game would almost certainly see Pool relegated, so improvement is needed.

Based on Pool continuing to win two thirds of their points at home, they will have to pick up three wins and a draw from their remaining five games at Bloomfield Road, earning 10 points.

Should they manage that, they would need five more points on the road – a win and two draws.

Four wins and a few draws from 11 matches sounds tough, but a quick look at the fixtures shows that Pool’s fate is very much in the hands of Neil McDonald and his squad.

And this month, in particular, is huge.

Tomorrow Coventry arrive at Bloomfield Road on the back of seven defeats in nine.

Games against Oldham, Crewe, Bury and Doncaster follow. Three of those clubs are in the bottom five and the Shakers are 15th.

All four games are very winnable and just about all of them are must-not-lose matches if Pool are to survive.

Throw in April games at home to bottom club Colchester and away to Fleetwood, and Pool still have to face all the other teams who currently make up the bottom six.

McDonald will want safety wrapped up before a tough double header against Wigan and Peterborough to finish the season.

Fifteen points are the aim, and looking at the fixtures there’s no excuse for Blackpool not getting them.

With that in mind, I still (just about) back Blackpool to avoid the drop – but it certainly won’t be easy.

-- Tomorrow’s home game against Coventry is likely to bring another unfortunate milestone, with away fans expected to outnumber Pool supporters for the second game running.

Like Bradford a fortnight ago, Sky Blues are bringing around 3,000 supporters, again denying Pool any home advantage.

It once again highlights how much work Karl Oyston has to do should he wish to heal the rift at the club, and to do so he must start by meeting the supporters.

I was encouraged to speak this week with Councillor Tony Williams, who has already made great strides forward in his bid to bring people together, and the addition of the FA and Football League to this process is much-needed.

There’s talk that Karl Oyston won’t attend any meeting which isn’t arranged by his Fans’ Progress Group, but it’s time he scrapped that and got involved in a process which is independent and is organised by a councillor who appears not to be taking sides and not to have any firm opinions on who is right or wrong.

Oyston simply must attend and get actively involved.