Three lows and one high from Blackpool's infuriating goalless draw with Wycombe Wanderers

Blackpool’s play-off hopes took a further dent as they drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers at Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool drew 0-0 with Wycombe WanderersBlackpool drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers
Blackpool drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers

Neither side were able to find a way through in what was a crucial fixture for the Seasiders in their hunt for the top six- with Lincoln City and Oxford United both winning elsewhere.

A couple of superb saves from Franco Ravizzoli towards the end summed up another frustrating afternoon for Neil Critchley’s men, who now sit six points off sixth with five games remaining.

Here’s three lows and one high from the draw:

Four changes to the starting line-up

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Neil Critchley opted to make four changes for the Easter Monday fixture. Both Shayne Lavery and Kyle Joseph came in as a front two, following Jake Beesley’s stint as a lone striker in the 1-0 defeat away to Derby County on Good Friday.

Structurally, it just had to happen. None of Blackpool strikers really have the skillset to play up top by themselves, it’s just about finding the right pairing with the absence of Jordan Rhodes.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out for the two that started, with Critchley briefly reverting back to the system he used on Friday during the second half, with Sonny Carey and Karamoko Dembele playing behind Beesley, before Kylian Kouassi’s introduction.

With so much on the line, the changes should’ve come earlier, as there was very little that was happening in the early stages of the second half. Things opened up for both sides in the latter stages, but it’s a gamble that should’ve been taken earlier.

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In terms of Dembele being left out of the starting line-up, it’s easy to understand the thinking behind the decision. The attacking midfielder did look tired in the game against Derby and wasn’t his usual self, so probably did need to be given a breather. Saying that, the 21-year-old still should’ve been introduced earlier.

The stranger decision was to drop George Byers to the bench, as the Sheffield Wednesday loanee has demonstrated what he can do going forward in certain games since his February arrival.

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Coulson absence

The change that couldn’t be avoided was that of Hayden Coulson, with the wing-back tweaking ligaments in his knee during the Derby game.

It is not believed to be a serious injury, and it is hoped that he’ll be back in contention for the Cambridge United game on Saturday- while James Husband and Albie Morgan will also be closer.

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Coulson has done a lot of good things on the left side since his January loan move from Middlesbrough, so his absence was certainly felt, especially with CJ Hamilton not quite being at his best in recent months.

Goal scoring infuriation

A major issue for the Seasiders is their lack of fire power in the opposition box. More is required from the attacking players, with the only goal in the last five games coming from Matthew Pennington.

Obviously losing Jordan Rhodes is a blow, but his last goal came back in December and they’d just about coped without him during his previous stint on the sidelines earlier this year.

It’s clear the strikers have struggled to find consistent goals this season, and are responsible for fluffing their chances, but the service into them isn’t good enough either. Far too often the transition into attack has been too slow, and those up front often find themselves isolated.

Carey had his moments again

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Like Good Friday, it’s pretty difficult to draw a positive from the game due to the impact it’s had on Blackpool’s play-off hopes, but once again credit must go to Sonny Carey. He hasn’t really been on it for large parts of this season, but had some bright moments again against Wycombe.

One thing the midfielder needs to work on is his composure in front of goal, with the 23-year-old just snatching at a couple of good chances.

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