'I asked John Murphy for his top-scorer's trophy after late run:' Blackpool legend sends message to struggling strike force

Blackpool legend Brett Ormerod has analysed the recent struggles of the Seasiders strike force- with only one goal in five games from Neil Critchley’s side being a major factor behind the recent blow in their play-off hopes.
Brett Ormerod (Credit: Phil Cole/ALLSPORT)Brett Ormerod (Credit: Phil Cole/ALLSPORT)
Brett Ormerod (Credit: Phil Cole/ALLSPORT)

It’s just about perseverance when you’re not scoring. I think all strikers go through this, unless you’re Ronaldo or Messi. The biggest barren spell I went through was at Southampton- I didn’t score for a couple of months, I must’ve hit the post or the crossbar five or six times during games, it just wouldn’t go in. Suddenly once I got one, I scored a few in a short space of time.

A very experienced striker told me, the time to worry is when you’re not getting chances. If you’re missing them, you can always work hard and practice.

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You just need to keep believing and getting in there because a lack of confidence can impact anyone. You’ve just got to keep going and trying hard in training so when a chance comes along, you’ll be able to put it away. You need a bit of luck as well, and one to come off your backside to get you going. Strikers thrive on goals so it can be a tough time.

The best players in the world have struggled with it, look at Fernando Torres, when he lost his confidence, he didn’t score for quite a long time, so it can affect anyone. It’s all psychological, it’s the pressure you put on yourself- it’s self inflicted. I was always playing my best when I was confident and scoring, but I did go through spells when I wasn't.

It doesn’t impact some strikers but others really take it to heart, it’s an individual thing. You’ve just got to do the things you were doing before.

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It’s not ideal for Blackpool as it’s the business end of the season, and it’ll take a monumental effort to get into the play-offs. They can either look at Jordan Rhodes’ injury as increased pressure or as an opportunity to write yourself in the club’s history. They’ve got to keep going and it’s about winning the matches.

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In 2001, John Murphy raced ahead of me and was the leading goalscorer at the end of the season, but by the time we’d won promotion through play-offs I had more than him, so I jokingly asked to have his trophy.

People discarding the current squad could be the perfect thing to motivate them. It might also take the pressure off, which will allow them to play with a bit more freedom.

If I was Neil Critchley I’d galvanise the team and say it’s an opportunity to prove people wrong. They’ve got the nucleus of a good team, even if they don’t go up. They might need another year to rebuild, which would give him a full summer. His track record of bringing players in to well is as good as anyone’s in that league. There’s still a decent side to build on.

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