This once promising season has come unglued for Blackpool. The second half has seen just two wins and more damagingly, recent losses to promotion rivals Wolves and Wigan, have seriously damaged their chances of remaining in the Premiership.
Holloway’s squad plays attacking soccer with a zest but have shown an alarming tendency to lose focus in the second half with opponents scoring at will on the counter. It comes as no surprise that they’ve conceded 70 goals, the most in the league. Their next four matches are all against teams in the top half of the table. Which makes their prospects even more daunting.
However, there is a chance that Blackpool might be able to weather it out because they actually have a winning record against these sides. They managed to beat Stoke, 1-0 at the Brittania, drew Bolton 2-2 at Ewood, and in two home games beat Spurs, 3-1, and from a winning position lost to Man Utd, 2-3.
Bolton and Stoke travel to Bloomfield Road with both clubs having poor away records. Bolton with just 2 wins and Stoke marginally better with one more. Scoring goals has been a huge problem for both sides away from home which should provide comfort to Holloway’s men.
In between these two home games, Blackpool travel to Spurs on 7th May. White Hart Lane has been quite impregnable with just the one loss but what should hearten them is the number of draws managed by the opposition. The most in the league at home with eight and equal to the number of wins. Blackpool end their season at unblemished Old Trafford and it will be naive to think of any change in that record. Especially if Man Utd have to pull out all the stops to prevent Chelsea sneaking off with the title.
Holloway’s best bet would be to go all out to win both home games and play for a draw at Spurs. A total of 7 points out of a possible 12 will push the tally to 41 points. Which is about the minimum required to realistically dodge relegation. They also have a very significant advantage in goals scored as compared to their rivals keeping an adverse goal differential from ballooning further. Scoring goals and manning up their defense to stop the second half comeback will be keys to their continued presence in the league. We can look forward to a brand of entertaining and attractive football amidst the drudgery from the usual suspects.