Blackpool 3 Oxford United 1: Five things we learned

Blackpool's goalscorers Kyle Vassell and Callum Cooke
Blackpool's goalscorers Kyle Vassell and Callum Cooke
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Seven league games without defeat and four victories from four in League One at home this season.

Kyle Vassell (2) and Callum Cooke gave Blackpool a 3-1 win over Oxford United on Saturday to see them climb to fourth in the early stages of the season.

So what conclusions are there to take from another three points this weekend?

Home comforts

It’s far too early to start labelling Bloomfield Road as ‘a fortress’ but the more wins Gary Bowyer’s players can post at home then the greater a fear factor for opposition players.

It might be four straight wins in the league this season but, if you factor in the end of last season, then it’s seven consecutive league wins at home.

That’s an impressive run of results for any team at any level irrespective of the quality of opposition.

Continue with that kind of home form, pick up some decent results on the road and who knows where that takes you?

Credit balance?

Following on from the above, are Blackpool’s players are getting their due credit for the opening eight games of the season?

The Seasiders’ camp might enjoy flying under the radar and taking one game at a time but there is no denying just how well the new campaign has started.

Even if there is momentum from the end of last season, adapting to a higher division can be tricky enough without overhauling the playing squad as well.

That they have started so well, playing an expansive style to boot, is testament to the work done by Bowyer, his staff and the players.

Finding their (long) range

Friday saw a statistic published which said that, with six this season, Blackpool had scored the highest number of goals from outside the 18-yard area across all four English divisions.

That clearly wasn’t enough for the Seasiders with all three of Saturday’s goals again coming from distance.

It again speaks volumes about the levels of confidence among the players that they are continually willing to have a go from distance.

Now if they could just convert their chances from closer in; speaking of which….

History repeating?

Yesterday’s victory triggered memories of the three points gained against Oldham Athletic three weeks earlier.

An utterly dominant first half left the Seasiders well in control but a failure to take their chances always left them open to a nervy end if their visitors could pull one back.

It proved the case against the Latics and, yesterday, against Oxford until Vassell settled matters in added time.

If even a couple of the clearer chances had been converted before half-time then it would have made for a much more comfortable second half.

Fight for the right

While Blackpool’s squad may not be, numerically, the biggest in the division then at least Bowyer has competition for places.

Mark Cullen’s hamstring-enforced absence might have caused a headache but Vassell’s man-of-the-match performance cemented his claim for a starting spot.

It’s also a healthy sign that Sessi D’Almeida can be taken out of the firing line and who replaces him? The club’s top scorer in Sean Longstaff.

The versatility of Kelvin Mellor, Nathan Delfouneso and Colin Daniel has also been on display but a dip into the free agent market cannot be ruled out yet.