OPINION: Bowyer is the right man for Blackpool
Gary Bowyer deserves an enormous amount of credit for the job he has done so far.
If the Seasiders win against Brackley Town tomorrow as they are expected to, they will start December in the League Two play-offs, in the hat for the FA Cup third round draw and in the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy.
OK, no-one cares about the Checkatrade Trophy, but still – a win’s a win.
And yes, while Blackpool are doing well in the league, there will be plenty of Blackpool fans who will say “it’s only League Two”.
Sure, it’s a far cry from the heady days of Pool’s Premier League campaign, but consider the circumstances Bowyer inherited when he joined during the summer.
Irrespective of budgets, was it really realistic to expect Blackpool to finish in the top two or three spots, given Pool were coming into the season on the back of successive relegations? And that’s without mentioning the turmoil off the pitch…
Blackpool’s performances and results this season have been far from perfect, and there’s still plenty of question marks over their consistency and away form.
But following last season’s relegation from League One, the club was in a mess. Bowyer was the ideal man to bring some stability.
During the week I was checking Bowyer’s record at Blackburn and I was staggered with how well he had done.
I knew he had brought stability to Ewood Park, but I hadn’t realised just how successful he had been given what he inherited there.
He finished eighth in his first full season in charge, followed by ninth in 2014-15. He was eventually sacked the following season with Rovers just four points above the relegation places - hardly a crisis.
Again, given the circumstances surrounding Rovers at the time, he deserves real credit.
Bowyer had been unable to buy players since December 2014 because Rovers breached the Football League’s financial fair play rules.
The club, owned by the Venky’s, had been relegated from the Premier League in 2012 which saw Steve Kean leave the club just a month into the following season in a managerial spell blighted by fan protests.
Henning Berg and Michael Appleton soon came and went. Bowyer came in, having previously took temporary charge on two separate occasions, and started to put the foundations back in place – just as he is doing now at Bloomfield Road.
Bowyer, who is on a one-year rolling deal, might not get Blackpool promoted but he’ll certainly leave the club in a far better position than it was when he joined.