Verdict: Signs of positivity for Blackpool despite being made to pay for wastefulness

Nathan Delfouneso put Blackpool ahead with a close-range finish
Nathan Delfouneso put Blackpool ahead with a close-range finish
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Strikers are often told not to worry if they miss chances, the concern should only arise when opportunities don’t come their way.

MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-1 Accrington Stanley

Interim boss Terry McPhillips continues to job being in charge

Interim boss Terry McPhillips continues to job being in charge

It’s a tired, old cliché most likely to be heard trotted out by Alan Shearer on the set of Match of the Day.

But for Blackpool, it rings true. In their opening two games of the season – the 0-0 draw at Wycombe Wanderers and the 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth – chances were few and far between.

The concern was that, not only were the Seasiders short on quality up front, but it appeared as though there was no creativity to supply those frontmen either.

That seems to have changed now and, while Pool are still in desperate need of upgrades in their forward line, at least the chances are coming. In fact, against Accrington Stanley on Saturday, the opportunities came in their truckload.

Jordan Thompson ran the show for Blackpool

Jordan Thompson ran the show for Blackpool

The main source of that creativity was Jordan Thompson. Utilised in a more advanced number 10 role, the former Rangers man was at the centre of everything good in the final third for Blackpool.

He kept finding those gaps and, finally, Pool have someone capable of delivering a decent corner. For as impressive as Blackpool were in their first season back in League One last season, it was no less infuriating watching every set-piece delivery fail to beat the first man. It was a problem that never went away.

But Thompson’s fizzed, pinpoint deliveries ensure danger for opposition defences. The 6ft 4ins Michael Nottingham was nearly the main beneficiary on Saturday, coming close with two headed efforts from close range.

Those were two of a whole host of missed chances, with Joe Dodoo, Nathan Delfouneso and Jay Spearing also among those players in tangerine to go close.

Mark Hughes peels away to celebrate his injury-time header

Mark Hughes peels away to celebrate his injury-time header

Although it was a huge relief to see Delfouneso finally get that goal to break the deadlock on 66 minutes, it should have been Pool’s second or third, not their first.

Blackpool were eventually made to pay for that wastefulness in front of goal, as Accrington produced a spirited last 10 to 15 minutes, resulting in Mark Hughes’ injury time equaliser.

READ MORE: Blackpool paid the price for missed chances, says Terry McPhillips

Many supporters on social media accused Terry McPhillips of showing negativity in bringing off Mark Cullen with 20 minutes to go, replacing him with debutant Liam Feeney.

Blackpool's players with their heads bowed after Accrington's late equaliser

Blackpool's players with their heads bowed after Accrington's late equaliser

It is true to say Accrington dominated from this point onwards, but I think that was always going to be the case.

The Seasiders had something to protect and Stanley had something to chase. When a side is only a goal behind, it’s only natural that they will launch everything forward in a desperate attempt to get that equaliser.

To be fair to John Coleman’s side, they did it well and came close on a couple of occasions prior to their stoppage time leveller, with Mark Howard making a couple of superb saves and Pool surviving a decent penalty appeal.

But the late scares and the eventual equaliser wouldn’t have been an issue had Pool scored more than the one goal earlier on in the game, as their dominance surely merited.

Even without Curtis Tilt in the back four, Pool look more than capable of keeping clean sheets at the back – as they have done in three of their opening five league games.

Of course the worry is Blackpool might have to do without Tilt longer term, with a long-mooted move to Ipswich still on the cards ahead of Friday’s loan deadline.

Owen Oyston watches on from the director's box

Owen Oyston watches on from the director's box

The Tractor Boys are still keen to get a deal done for the centre back, who would move to Suffolk on loan with a view to that being made permanent during the January transfer window.

Reports suggest Ipswich are now nearing a £900,000 bid for Tilt, which you would think would be too much to resist for Owen Oyston – the man who is surely desperate to get his hands on any cash that comes his way given the huge debt he still has hanging around his neck.

But then again, you’d have thought he would have accepted £600,000, too, but this is a man who believes Blackpool need to keep Tilt if they have any shot of returning to the Premier League. Delusional doesn’t even cover it.

And yet he’s happy to let the likes of Clark Robertson, Colin Daniel, Kelvin Mellor and Kyle Vassell leave on frees after failing in his duty to tie them down to longer deals. It would be funny if it wasn’t true.

PLAYER RATINGS: Our marks out of 10 after Blackpool's draw to Accrington

As it is, Blackpool are doing remarkably well on the pitch given the summer of turmoil that saw 20 players depart, 14 players (so far) arrive and the man that oversaw all the good at the club – Gary Bowyer – opt to call it quits.

Okay, six points from five games doesn’t sound like much but, taken in the wider context of Oyston’s dismantling – nay, destruction – of the club, it should be seen in a positive light.

How Bowyer, and now his former right-hand man McPhillips, manage to maintain an attitude of ‘normal-ness’ at Blackpool, I’ll never know.

The likelihood of them achieving something tangible this season is unlikely and, to be frank, no one really expects it anyway. But the fact that we’re even discussing Blackpool as a competitive, currently mid-table League One club is testament to the players and those coaching staff who continue to perform miracles.

This is a side that are managerless, are without a training ground, have lost the vast majority of their best players and look likely to lose another one. Anything remotely positive at the club happens in spite of Oyston, not because of him.