Two weeks ago, sitting rock-bottom of League One, Blackpool were crying out for the international break. But after three wins in as many games, the Seasiders must be itching to play again.
The term ‘momentum’ gets thrown around a lot in football, but there’s no doubting its importance. Winning breeds confidence, and confidence is exactly what this young squad needs given the dismal start to the season they have experienced.
Manager Neil McDonald believes the side’s upturn in form is down to a solid defence. Lloyd Jones and Clarke Robertson looked to have built a good partnership at the heart of Pool’s backline, but after a nasty injury to Jones, Tom Aldred has stepped in to great effect.
With the young Liverpool loanee set for at least three months on the sidelines, and with Pool’s continuing struggles in the transfer market, Aldred has the chance to showcase his abilities. Having watched a few of his games when he first joined the club in January, I wasn’t sure what to make of him as a centre-half. But by all accounts, he’s impressed since being reinstated to the side.
So to have last Saturday’s game away to Bradford City postponed due to international fixtures must have been a blow to McDonald and his players. They would’ve travelled to Yorkshire looking to make it four wins in a week, but instead they’ll try to keep up their winning streak at Coventry this weekend.
Whether or not McDonald will lead his team out at the Ricoh Arena remains to be seen. After Sam Allardyce was appointed Sunderland’s manager last week, rumours have circulated as to who will become his number two. Given that McDonald was Big Sam’s assistant at West Ham United prior to becoming Pool boss over the summer, many pundits believe that McDonald could be tempted by the prospect of a reunion with Allardyce in the North East.
Now, many Blackpool fans aren’t too concerned with who manages our club, because there are bigger problems behind the scenes and away from the pitch which need resolving. We could have Sir Alex Ferguson in the Bloomfield Road dugout, yet we would still find ourselves in a League One relegation scrap.
But if McDonald were to leave, what a time for him to move on. Ok, three wins on the spin is hardly something to rave about, but fancy leaving just as his side was starting to turn things around, and just when it looked as if his ideas were rubbing off on the players.
What would that do to Pool’s dressing room? The confidence and momentum they’ve gained during the past two weeks would be shot down immediately. The reason McDonald took this job was because of his ambition to become a number one, so moving back to his former role after just a few months wouldn’t make much sense to me.
For the time being, McDonald remains Blackpool’s manager. Let’s hope Pool can make it four wins from four on Saturday…