At long, long last, the 498-day wait was over. Blackpool Football Club finally won a game away from home!
The narrow 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe United was also manager Neil McDonald’s first win as Pool manager. However, it was hardly a win where Blackpool dominated proceedings. Scunthorpe had 33 shots compared to Pool’s seven, and the visitors had returning keeper Colin Doyle to thank, as his heroic display earned the Seasiders their first win on the road since April 2014.
One of the most important elements in building successful football teams is momentum; following up a victory or performance in your next game, building on it. But this was something Blackpool failed to do last weekend when travelling to Gillingham.
It was always going to be a tough test for McDonald’s side, the Gills are top of League One and the only side who remain unbeaten in the division. Pool were just nine minutes away from earning a very handy away point, but a late Gills winner handed Pool their fifth defeat of the campaign.
What is pleasing to see is McDonald working with the cards he’s been dealt and trying to get more experienced players into the club. We are all aware of Blackpool’s transfer policy of spending little and utilising the free agent and loan market, and McDonald has brought in David Norris to bolster his midfield.
Aged 34 and with over 400 league appearances to his name, Norris will bring vital knowledge to Pool’s young midfield. However, after ending his non-contract with League Two side Yeovil Town after just one appearance, it’s hardly as if Norris is a sought after player.
It also looks like a deal for Martin Paterson will be concluded sooner rather than later. The former Burnley striker has agreed a contract at Bloomfield Road but international clearance issues have prolonged the signing, after Paterson was released by MLS side Orlando City over the summer.
The 28-year-old would be a welcome addition to McDonald’s dressing room, having spent the majority of his career playing Championship football. Paterson’s arrival will also take the strain off Mark Cullen and Jack Redshaw as the club’s recognised strikers.
It has also been reported that a deal could be struck with Miles Addison to rejoin the club. Addison spent a short time on loan towards the end of last season, playing five games for the Seasiders. If a deal can be agreed for the former Bournemouth man, then it would be McDonald’s most impressive signing. Although Pool’s season was already over before Addison joined, he really impressed me.
He seemed to be one of only a few players who genuinely cared for the club, and put in a huge shift every week. Addison looked calm on the ball and strong in a tackle. The fact that he can play in defence or midfield is another advantage. A player of Addison’s quality is exactly what is required in League One.
For the first time in a while this blog has been mainly positive – Pool win away and players seem to coming into the club. However, one win changes nothing. There is still a long way to go for Blackpool Football Club if they want to turn things around and get fans back on their side.