Gary Taylor-Fletcher column: Blackpool have had a magnificent start to the season

The way Blackpool have been performing and the results they’ve had, as well as Gillingham having that extra rest having not played at the weekend, I thought the performance and result on Tuesday night was very good.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 9:00 am
Armand Gnanduillet has started the season in excellent goalscoring form for the Seasiders

They’re now on top of the league on their own so it’s all going very well.

As a former Blackpool and Lincoln City player, it’s great to see those two sides occupying the top two.

Lincoln is the club that kickstarted my career and Blackpool is where I enjoyed the best times of my career.

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I’m not at all surprised though because, even before I watched either side this season, I predicted both would be outside bets to push the top six and get into the play-offs.

Simon Grayson probably wouldn’t have expected it to have gone this smoothly but Blackpool will be hoping to stay at the top for as long as possible now.

With everything that has happened, with Simon coming in just a few weeks before the season started, he’s tried to make the players play a different way to how they did under Terry McPhillips.

All these things take time but even taking that into account, the start has been magnificent.

One of the main things is that Blackpool have shown they can battle as well as being able to play some lovely football.

They’ve got players who have been there and done it, like Jay Spearing, and mixed in with the younger lads you can tell the work they’ve been doing on the training ground is starting to pay off.

Each game they are getting stronger but the last two games they’ve really had to dig in but they’ve done that, which is promising.

It was great to see Sullay Kaikai notch his first goal for the club. When you join a new team you want to get up and running as early as you can.

If you don’t, it can grate on you a little bit and you might think to yourself ‘am I going to get that goal?’ and if you do miss a chance, you might think ‘is it ever going to come?’

But now Sullay has got that goal I can only see him kicking on and getting even better.

When I came to the pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers I said straight away that he’s the man to watch this season.

He’s got everything. You can see he’s got that quality that a few others in the squad might not have.

If he’s still at Blackpool at the end of this season I will be very impressed they’ve managed to keep him.

It’s also great to see Armand Gnanduillet starting the season in good form with four goals in five games.

I said towards the end of last season that he could be a very, very good player, he just needs to find that consistency.

It looks like that might have kicked in a little bit and he’s certainly had his shooting boots on over these last few games.

He’s getting in the goals which is great to see, but the delivery into the box is also hugely important and that’s been spot on so far.

He seems to be getting on the end of those crosses, when at times last season he was often coming out wide and not getting into those dangerous areas in the box.

If he continues getting into those areas in and around the box I see no reason why he can’t score even more goals.

There’s not long until the end of the transfer window but I’m sure Simon will still be looking to improve his squad.

It’s a tough one to work out where the team needs to improve, because they’ve already got a very big squad and it might be a case of sending some out.

From what I’ve seen, I think they might need another attacking midfielder or one to break it up, and then maybe another attacking option – one that can play in quite a few roles and fill in here and there.

But you look at the squad and the start they’ve had and you wouldn’t want to tweak it too much.

The players who are already playing are the ones who have picked up 10 points from four games and that’s an impressive thing to do.

Hopefully Pool can build on that good start when they head to Rochdale this weekend; it will be a tough game but I’m sure they will be confident of picking up another positive result.