Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' thrashing of the Bantams.
A complete team performance
As bad as Bradford were today, don't take anything away from Blackpool. They were direct, they were relentless, they were dynamic and they never gave Bradford a moment’s rest. They had their foot firmly wrapped around the necks of Bradford and they wouldn’t let go. It was a brutal display and a clinical one; which is the one thing Blackpool have lacked the most this season. Bowyer’s men were rampant in the first half, playing at a tempo and an intensity that was a joy to watch. The scoreline genuinely could have been anything at half-time, Bradford could perhaps consider themselves fortunate to get away with conceding just the three. The Bantams were improved at the start of the second half - hell, they couldn't have been any worse - but the Seasiders weathered their 15-minute 'storm' before adding another two to cap off a fine win. It was comfortably the best result of their season but not only that, it was the first time Blackpool have won 5-0 since January 2016, when Pool beat Scunthorpe by the same margin. While Nathan Delfouneso will rightly get all the plaudits for his hat-trick - the first of his senior career - it was a superb all-round performance that got the points. While it seems harsh to pick out individuals when everyone played their part, Colin Daniel is certainly worthy of a mention for his trio of assists while Jay Spearing was fantastic from start to finish in midfield.
The Fonz stole the show
Nathan Delfouneso has always been something of an enigma. Tipped as the next star of the future as he came through the youth ranks at Aston Villa, it’s fair to say the forward’s career hasn’t worked out quite well as he had planned. It sounds harsh, but he’d probably tell you the same. With the quality he possesses, he shouldn’t really be plying his trade in the third tier of English football. But forwards are judged by one thing: goals. And it’s fair to say Delfouneso hasn’t scored enough of them. But the forward was in clinical mode on Saturday, scoring with a left-footed effort, a right-footed tap-in and a header - or as it’s more commonly known in the trade; the perfect hat-trick. It was the sort of lethal finishing you’d expect from a 20-goal-a-season striker and it just left you completely bewildered why, up until this weekend, he had only netted four times this season. It was a fine performance from the ‘Fonz’, by far and away the best he’s ever played in a tangerine jersey. But, as emphasised by his manager Gary Bowyer at the final whistle, it will mean nothing should he not back it up. He’s the sort of player who should be reaching double figures every season, regardless of what league he’s in.
Perfect reaction to Easter nightmare
Today's win - never mind the emphatic manner of it - was the perfect tonic to Blackpool’s dire defeats over Easter. While the losses to both Doncaster Rovers and Oldham were only 2-1 in both instances, the performances were a lot worse than the respective score lines suggest. Saturday’s destruction of Bradford makes those two results all the more puzzling - but I guess that’s football for you. The most important thing for the Seasiders was to react and boy, they did that and then some. It was the first of three home games in the space of a week, with Northampton up next on Tuesday before Fleetwood come to town the following weekend. Who knows what sort of Blackpool side we’ll see for those two fixtures. And for that matter, what sort of Delfouneso will turn up? Both are quite the enigmas. In his programme notes Gary Bowyer made reference to the way his side normally react to defeats, and he's got a point. His side might go on the odd winless run, but they don't often go on long losing streaks either. He always finds a way to bounce back from disappointment and that's exactly what the Seasiders managed to do today - regardless of how poor their opponents were.
Seasiders within touching distance of safety
Saturday’s win against a truly awful Bradford side now takes the Seasiders up to that magical 50-point mark with five games still to play. Due to the competitive nature of the division this year, it might take a few extra points this season to secure their League One status. But a win against relegation-threatened Northampton Town on Tuesday night should do the trick. If not then, why not next Saturday against a certain Fleetwood Town? Either way, it would take something disastrous for Blackpool to find themselves back in League Two next season. While this season has been far from ideal - it's had it's fair share of ups and downs after all - I'm sure most of us would have accepted the position Blackpool now find themselves in had we been offered it at the start of the season. Blackpool were, after all, tipped as one of the main favourites for relegation yet at no point this season have the Seasiders found themselves in the bottom four. That's some achievement given the circus that surrounds them at Bloomfield Road. Remember, this is a team who lost the likes of Brad Potts and Bright Osayi-Samuel at the start of the season. This is a team that has had to do without Kyle Vassell and Mark Cullen for large chunks of the season. This is a team that wasn't added to during the January transfer window. Please don't ever underestimate the job Gary Bowyer has done, I beg you.
It's hard to underestimate just how bad Bradford were
Honestly, it had to be seen to be believed just how poor Simon Grayson’s side were this afternoon. The former Pool boss has carved something of a reputation for himself as a manager that oversees rigid, solid, defensive outfits that are extremely tough to beat. As good as Blackpool were on Saturday, the Bantams couldn’t have made it much easier for them. With the way Blackpool performed, any team would have struggled. But the manner in which Bradford capitulated was genuinely alarming to watch. Their backline was in complete disarray in the first half and Pool looked like scoring every time they ventured forwards. It genuinely could have been six or seven - and that’s just at half time. The 2,300 fans made their dissenting voices quite clear - chanting “Stuart, Stuart”, in reference to the man that had them inside the League One play-offs before being sacked in February of this year. McCall was replaced by Grayson until the end of the season but since then, he’s overseen just one win to take Bradford towards the bottom half of the table. The Bantams have embarked on a woeful run of just one win in 14 games, and you can see why. Their fans were right to voice their discontent.