OPINION: Blackpool don’t need to rush into a new managerial appointment

Simon Sadler and Ben MansfordSimon Sadler and Ben Mansford
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In fact, the Seasiders’ winter of discontent means the side are now closer to the relegation zone than they are the top six.

But with a 14-point gap separating themselves and third-from-bottom Tranmere Rovers, the smart money is on Blackpool finishing the campaign in mid-table obscurity.

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That, you’d like to think, gives the club hierarchy some leeway when deciding who to appoint as the next manager as there’s no rush to make a swift decision.

Will the new man be Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy, who came out of nowhere to suddenly top the bookies’ odds?

Or will it be Nathan Jones, who had previously been the outright favourite before reports emerged the former Luton Town man had doubts over taking the role?

If it’s true the Welshman was offered the position and he still hasn’t taken it, that suggests he probably isn’t going to be the next man at the helm.

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The club has now moved on from Barrow manager and Blackpool legend Ian Evatt, but the name of Paul Heckingbottom isn’t going away – the former Hibernan boss knowing chief executive Ben Mansford well from their time together at Leeds United and Barnsley.

There is no rush to get someone in right away and, judging by the promising display at Bristol Rovers on Saturday, there is absolutely no harm in allowing David Dunn to continue in his caretaker role for the here and now.

The indications I’ve been given is that the football club are willing to take their time over this appointment.

That’s not to say it will drag on and on, because the club refuses to give up on this season as we’re still only in the middle of February.

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But, with Simon Sadler’s stated ambition of getting the club into the Championship within two or three seasons, the men in charge must get this decision right and they’re well aware of that.

That’s especially the case given the appointment of Simon Grayson didn’t work anywhere near as well as had been hoped.

The reasoning behind bringing Grayson back to the club during the summer was sound despite it not working out, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Given Blackpool’s overriding aim for the short-term is promotion, you can’t blame the club for opting to go with someone who has more promotions from the third tier than any other current manager.

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With four promotions from League One on his CV, and with prior knowledge of the club from his first spell, it isn’t difficult to see the logic behind the appointment.

But, from Christmas onwards, it soon became clear that Grayson wasn’t the man for the Seasiders this time around.

That does make it slightly bizarre why the club thought it appropriate to give so much backing to Grayson during the January transfer window, with 12 players coming in and a further 12 going out, but I’m sure lessons have been learned.

It appears those in charge of the process – Sadler, Mansford and chief commercial officer Linton Brown – have begun drawing up their shortlist this week.

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The only person we know that has definitely applied is Gary Taylor-Fletcher, as revealed last week and again confirmed today in his Gazette column.

You’d imagine the club will have been inundated with CVs and applications in the last week or so, while conversations will be well underway.

Ignoring Blackpool’s league position, this is a pretty attractive proposition right now. The club are back on the up thanks to Sadler’s investment and there aren’t many sides at this level who are as ambitious as the Seasiders. This current form is surely just a blip.

What will the club be looking for in their new man? You’d like to think it will be a candidate that is likely to produce a more attacking, more expansive style of football.

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Grayson was the first to admit he’s a pragmatic manager who starts from the back with a solid base, but unfortunately those foundations eluded him in the past two months, giving the club no option but to sack him.

The Seasiders, who head to AFC Wimbledon this week without an away win in five months, haven’t kept a clean sheet in League One since November 16.

Dunn was unfortunate not to claim a long-overdue away win for Pool at Bristol Rovers last week in a game where everything seemed to transpire against them.

Wimbledon, who are fourth from bottom in the third tier, will no doubt be looking for a reaction from their 5-0 thrashing at Oxford United on Tuesday.