Blackpool and Wigan – two clubs to have experienced remarkably similar fates in recent seasons.
Both have tumbled from the Premier League, seen a host of managers come and go and now find themselves in a division they shouldn’t be in.
In the summer, Gary Caldwell and Neil McDonald both had to rebuild a squad almost from scratch, faced with the task of throwing players together at the start of the season.
In the boardroom they aren’t far apart either. Wigan and Blackpool have enjoyed huge sums of money from the Premier League and both have very rich owners.
But there’s one huge difference when it comes to ambition.
After relegation last May, Wigan chairman David Sharpe made no secret of his plans for this season.
He said: “I don’t just want to win this league – I want to smash it and get 100 points.”
While that statement looked a little foolish five or six games into the season, Wigan’s recent run of 17 points from their last eight games suggests they could well be on track for a quick return to the Championship.
Then we come to Blackpool, and manager McDonald’s inspiring declaration “my remit this season was to stop the rot and stay in League One.” Truly inspiring stuff.
But in saying that McDonald is simply doing his job – you can only be as ambitious as the decision-maker above you, so I suppose the fact Blackpool are not adrift at the bottom means the manager may well achieve his target. But it highlights the ridiculous lack of ambition at Bloomfield Road at the moment. It’s just not good enough.
Despite all the problems, the negative publicity and fall-outs with fans, Blackpool should be challenging at the top of League One . They have the money. Instead it looks like McDonald and his men will be celebrating in May if they avoid the drop by a point in come May.
Pool should be fighting an altogether different battle this season. Tomorrow’s game should be a promotion six-pointer.