OPINION: Bowyer boys have a high spirit level

Bright Osayi-Samuel celebrates his extra-time winner
Bright Osayi-Samuel celebrates his extra-time winner
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This Blackpool side might not be the most talented of squads to have graced Bloomfield Road in the club’s illustrious history but it must be right up there when it comes to guts, heart and desire.

When it comes to pure talent, you have to be honest and admit this set of players is miles away from the one that won promotion from the Championship and battled so admirably against relegation in the Premier League.

But they’re a massive upgrade on the dross that has been served up in the last two or three seasons; these players actually care and are prepared to fight for the shirt.

Witness the celebrations after Bright Osayi-Samuel’s last minute winner in extra-time against Barnsley and you will have seen substitutes and coaches racing down the touchline to join in. When was the last time you saw scenes like that?

It was just a shame the celebrations took place in front of a small pocket of 200-odd Blackpool fans housed behind the goal at Oakwell.

One can only imagine what the scenes would have been like had that game happened under ‘normal’ circumstances.

This team will never set the world alight for beautiful football but God loves a trier, and Blackpool have plenty of them.

When Barnsley brought it back to 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second half it seemed almost inevitable that they would go on to win.

But no, the Blackpool players stood up to the challenge, even when they were forced into making three changes with injuries to key men Kyle Vassell, Andy Taylor and Jack Payne.

The Seasiders are a depleted side at the moment but that didn’t affect them. In fact it only served to strengthen their resolve.

But let’s not pretend this was a typical lower league backs-against-the-wall job. They took the game to Barnsley and had as many clear cut opportunities as the hosts did.

Gary Bowyer’s men sat back and soaked up all the pressure, with the backline desperately heading and clearing everything that came anywhere near their box.

The gutsy performance came just days after Blackpool had to see out the end of Saturday’s game against Cambridge with just 10 men after Tom Aldred was harshly sent off. Instead of just sitting back and settling for a point, they ventured forward and tried to win the game.

That is testament to the spirit Gary Bowyer has created among this Blackpool team who never know when they are beaten.