Gazette columnist Brett Ormerod on Blackpool's league form, Josh Bowler and FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest

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I commentated on both of Blackpool’s last two games and the results were a little disappointing, especially the Sheffield United one, Gazette columnist Brett Ormerod writes.
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The performances were okay, especially in the second-half against the Blades and in the first-half against Sunderland, which gives them something to be encouraged about.

Sheffield United are second in the table and along with Burnley they look to be running away with it at the top. In the first-half they showed that quality and made it very difficult for Blackpool.

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But Michael Appleton’s side showed a lot of bottle in the second-half, got their goal back and were unfortunate not to get anything.

Against Sunderland, they were the better team early on and scored a good goal through Shayne Lavery, but Sunderland are another top team with quality so it was just a matter of time until they came back into it.

I liked the look of their front three, they linked up well and showed really good movement and Blackpool were probably a little fortunate to come away with a point.

Saying that, Blackpool showed a lot of character because I think Sunderland would have beaten most teams with their second-half display.

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Shayne Lavery scored Blackpool's goal in the New Year's Day draw against SunderlandShayne Lavery scored Blackpool's goal in the New Year's Day draw against Sunderland
Shayne Lavery scored Blackpool's goal in the New Year's Day draw against Sunderland

They’re crying out for a win but the performances haven’t been too bad recently. Against Hull they looked comfortable until the sending off, so the luck hasn’t been there either.

If they can get a couple of players in, hopefully that will help them go on some type of run because to be honest, you can chuck a blanket over the bottom half of the table it’s that tight.

If Josh Bowler returns that would provide a massive boost. It’s not worked out for him at Olympiacos but it was always a weird move looking from the outside.

I completely understand why he wanted to sign for Nottingham Forest but they signed a heck of a lot of players during the summer. But going straight out on loan was a strange one.

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For Josh I think he would have been better served by signing for Forest and being loaned straight back to Blackpool, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight.

If Blackpool could get him back that would be fantastic because he was firing on all cylinders before he left. He was a huge threat in the final third which is something they’ve lacked at times this season.

Going the other way has been Theo Corbeanu who’s returned to Wolves, which is a shame. He played well and scored against Huddersfield when I saw him and he seemed to have something about him, but it’s not worked out perfectly for him.

With Morgan Rogers coming in there’s obviously quite a bit of competition in that area of the pitch now so he probably needs to go elsewhere to get games.

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Just touching on this weekend, it will be interesting to see how Appleton approaches the FA Cup with Forest coming to town.

I’m sure he will name a strong side but there are injuries to take into account and they played a lot of games over the festive period, so he might make the odd change.

Protecting their Championship status is obviously the priority but it’s another chance to get back to winning ways, so hopefully they can do that.