OPINION; Blackpool face a tougher test at Bolton Wanderers than might have been the case before

Blackpool go into Monday night's game against Bolton Wanderers on the back of victory against Lincoln City last Friday
Blackpool go into Monday night's game against Bolton Wanderers on the back of victory against Lincoln City last Friday
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First there was a game moved to a Friday night, now the Seasiders have to wait until Monday to play a televised fixture; Blackpool fans must feel like they’re back in the Premier League.

In all seriousness, the nine-day break will have probably have been a welcome sight for Simon Grayson, who was missing three key forward players against Lincoln City last week.

It was an important win for the Seasiders, or it certainly felt that way anyway.

That seems odd even writing that so soon into the season, but Blackpool had started to waiver with just one win in seven.

And while there were just two defeats in that run, it wasn’t necessarily the results that were the problem.

It was the manner in which Grayson’s men were struggling for creativity while leaking goals too easily at the other end.

That appears to have been rectified, with a couple of tweaks resulting in just two goals being conceded in their last three outings.

What Blackpool showed against Lincoln was that they do have the quality, demonstrating a clinical touch to score from two of their three shots on target.

Monday night’s game is certainly an interesting one.

There is certainly an impending sense of doom among the fanbase that Blackpool are catching Bolton at just the wrong time.

The Trotters, who are yet to claim their first win this season, have improved in recent weeks.

Their big batch of new players are beginning to settle in and that is mirrored by their results, picking up creditable draws against Oxford United and Sunderland and going down to a narrow defeat to Portsmouth.

If Blackpool are to win this game, it certainly won’t have been as easy as it would have been a month or so ago when they would have faced a team of fresh-faced youngsters.

We all know why Sky Sports have picked this game for broadcast. Yes, it’s a match-up between two proud Lancashire clubs who have been through the mire but are now on the road back.

But they also think there’s a good chance this will be Bolton’s first win of the season. Well Blackpool must prove them wrong.

It is heartening to see these two clubs getting back to some some of normality, anyway. Both have come a long way in such a short matter of time.

It’s fair to say Blackpool are probably a bit further down the road than Bolton are, with an established, settled squad in the third tier coupled with Simon Sadler’s ownership and the return of the battle-weary fanbase.

But Bolton are only just beginning to get back on their feet and their fans will just be happy they have competitive football matches to watch again after what they have been through during the last few months.

While Blackpool are targeting promotion, Bolton will be delighted to avoid relegation given their 12-point deduction and their difficult start to the campaign.

With more points likely to be docked for the games they cancelled, it would probably be a miracle if Keith Hill’s men got anywhere close staying up given they’re already 18 points off safety after just nine games.

If Bolton do go on an unlikely run that keeps them in the third tier next season, let’s hope it starts after this game.

Regular readers of my columns will know I’m a huge advocate of change when it comes to the governance side of the sport.

These two teams are probably the biggest example of that, given the footballing authorities felt – somewhat remarkably – that Owen Oyston and Ken Anderson were considered fit and proper to run their respective clubs.

While both Blackpool and Bolton are looking ahead to rosier futures, rather than dwelling on the past, it doesn’t diminish the need for tighter structures to ensure the previous catastrophes are not allowed to happen elsewhere.

We’ve already lost one club in Bury – or are just about to. How many will it take for the FA and the EFL to sit up and take notice?

Just because Blackpool are out of the woods now with a hometown owner that has done all the right things so far, doesn’t mean those in charge of the game should be let off the hook.

It should never have got to the position where clubs, steeped in history like Blackpool and Bolton, are just happy to be playing football again.