Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' dramatic extra-time win against Barnsley in the FA Cup.
The FA Cup is far from dead
If you think the FA Cup is about watching Manchester United v Wigan on TV or West Ham v Manchester City, then the competition really isn't for you. If there was some way to ignore the Premier League sides, unless they're up against a lower league side, up until the quarter final stage then that would be ideal. Last night's game was an exhilarating, breathless, end-to-end affair which could have ended up 7-6 to either side. It was what the FA Cup is all about - both sides going for broke and 'having a go'. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't particularly great football on show, but boy was it entertaining. Blackpool's win against a side two leagues above them was impressive but pales into consideration compared to the victories for non-league sides Lincoln City and Sutton United. Either way, the FA Cup is still the world's best domestic cup competition.
This Blackpool side has real guts
When it comes to talent, this squad is miles away from the one that won promotion from the Championship and battled so admirably against relegation in the Premier League only six and seven years ago. But this squad is a massive upgrade on the dross that has been served up in the last two or three seasons. This set of players actually care and are prepared to fight for the shirt - something that can often be taken for granted. Witness the celebrations after Bright Osayi-Samuel's last minute winner in extra-time and you will have seen substitutes and coaches racing down the touchline to join in. When was the last time you saw scenes like that? This team will never set the world alight for beautiful football but god loves a trier, and Blackpool have plenty of them.
Injuries are taking their toll
Blackpool's win was a superb one but it came at a cost - with Kyle Vassell, Andy Taylor and Jack Payne all suffering nasty looking injuries. That comes after the hamstring injury Brad Potts suffered against Cambridge while Colin Daniel remains out on the sidelines, as does Eddie Nolan. The busy festive period is now taking its toll and Pool will be severely weakened for Saturday's home game against Yeovil. The reality is, Pool need to strengthen and they could do with three or four bodies, not just one or two. If they're going to persist with the 3-5-2 formation which has proved fairly effective, they will need an extra defender as they didn't have a recognised one on the bench against Barnsley. A central midfielder, a winger and another striker wouldn't go amiss either, but perhaps that's just me being greedy (and unrealistic).
Osayi-Samuel changed the game
The teenager was introduced into the action far sooner than Gary Bowyer had originally planned, having replaced the injured Kyle Vassell five minutes before half time. He thrived in a forward's role and caused no end of problems for the Barnsley backline. He had a priceless chance to win it at the end of the regulation 90 minutes and went close again in extra time. But he showed his mental strength to stroke home in the very last minute of the game to cause an FA Cup shock, with saw great celebrations among the small pocket of Blackpool fans housed behind the goal at Oakwell. Osayi-Samuel has now added discipline to his game and he's prepared to track back, which when added to his undoubted talent and skill on the ball, makes for a fierce combination.
Blackburn game will make for an interesting spectacle
Gary Bowyer will no doubt have been delighted to get across the line in last night's replay to set up a trip to a club who harshly sacked him. Bowyer, as he has done at Blackpool, had stabilised the club following its relegation from the Premier League and the turmoil caused by their owners, the Venky's. No doubt he will have plenty of friends there and lots of good memories, but a win would surely feel very sweet. Not only that, the game presents boycotting fans of both clubs the chance to make a real statement outside of the ground before kick off. Chances are there could well be more supporters outside Ewood Park than there are inside. Given the current state of apathy and anger among both Blackburn and Blackpool fans, the protests are likely to be well attended and it presents them with a chance to garner some national attention.