Ben Burgess column: Pool’s 10 changes now look like genius

Ben Burgess
Ben Burgess
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Gary Bowyer and his men could not have asked for a better week. They progressed in the FA Cup, the Checkatrade Trophy and more importantly they earned a valuable three points away at Stevenage.

Having played down at Stevenage, I’m more than aware of how tough a place it is to get a result at. Blackpool had to show great resilience and determination to win ‘ugly’ and push themselves into seventh place in the league. Bowyer’s decision to make 10 changes in the Doncaster cup game in the lead up to last weekend now looks like a stroke of genius.

Not only did it give some weary legs a rest, it also gave the fringe players some valuable game time and it was two of those starters at Doncaster that entered the fray as substitutes at Stevenage and promptly won the Seasiders the game.

Bright Samuels was the player to break the deadlock last week with his first senior goal. It was a real moment of quality as he pulled the ball out of the air and coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Bright has had a frustrating time being in and out of the side for the last couple of seasons but he’s still a young lad and playing in a winning side and under a good manager will help him make great progress.

Already from the few times I’ve seen him play this season he looks stronger, more confident and even quicker than he has previously!

Equally important was to see Mark Cullen back on the scoresheet.

There’s nothing better for a manager than to have all his strikers buzzing and scoring goals, and that will hopefully ease the pressure on Kyle Vassell who looks irreplaceable.

Next up at Bloomfield Road on Saturday will be Cullen’s old side, Luton Town.

Luton have made a good start to the campaign and sit in fifth place, just two points above the Seasiders. It’s another great test and after no midweek fixtures you would expect Blackpool to be fresh and full of energy and really take the game to the visitors.

The prize of climbing above them should be enough motivation.

Away from League 2 and into the Premier League and things are really hotting up. Manchester City and Liverpool are stumbling, Chelsea are flying, Mourinho’s talking and Gary Neville is criticising.

Most of the problems both City and Liverpool face are down to weak defences and in particular their new goalkeepers.

Let’s start with Claudio Bravo, who I suspect was sheltered greatly at Barcelona simply by the fact that the opposition rarely had the ball.

At City he has the ball whipped under his crossbar at every opportunity, shots are being rained down on him from everywhere and unfortunately (for us City fans) he appears to have the presence of a flea.

Yes, I understand that with his feet he can build up the play, which is important for Pep Guardiola’s plans, but there must be a goalkeeper out there who can combine both.

Now for Loris Karius at Liverpool. After some rather weak performances, he’s been rightly or wrongly torn to shreds by Gary Neville and lost his place for the midweek win at Middlesbrough.

Neville has been quite scathing in his assessments and instead of Karius taking the comments on board (or even ignoring them) he has responded and in turn heaped a mountain of more pressure on himself.

He even has Jurgen Klopp trying to fight his corner, claiming that Neville isn’t too good at assessing players or he’d still be in a manager’s job with Valencia.

I can’t help think that whilst Neville may not have picked up much in the way of managerial skills from his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, he certainly seems to be using his mind games to perfection.