Often Partisan

Play From the Whistle: Blackpool Preview

Blues travel to Blackpool tonight in the wake of two successive 3-2 defeats looking to get something from Michael Appleton’s Tangerines. It makes the second game in a busy six-day spell and it will be interesting to see if and how Clark changes things.


The Seasiders aren’t in the best form of their lives at the moment having drawn their last three games on the spin and only won one of their last nine – although they’ve only lost three in that time as well. Blackpool can only boast of three home wins at Bloomfield Road this season in the Championship but equally, in that time they have only lost twice.

Michael Appleton has lost Ian Evatt to a knee injury and the defender joins Matt Phillips and Gary Taylor-Fletcher on the sidelines. However, loanee Wes Thomas who came in for his debut in the 2-2 draw with Watford could start although former Blues player Kevin Phillips did score the first as the Tangerines came back from 2 down early on.

The former Pompey manager has stressed that Blackpool need to start better having fallen behind in each of their previous three games and has shown he’s not afraid to change things early on having used two of his subs by the start of the second half at the weekend.


Blues have no new injury concerns and can add Darren Ambrose to the squad with the midfielder having recovered from an illness that kept him out of the side at the weekend. Paul Caddis is back training with the squad and whilst this game might have come too soon for him he will surely be back in the squad before long. However, Nathan Redmond (who was rested at the weekend) has not travelled with the squad to Blackpool and won’t be in the matchday 18.

Lee Clark needs to stop the rot and must demand a better performance from his team; whilst they did play well in the second half at times Blues cannot afford to start as slow as they have been and with the dangerous Tom Ince in the opposition side they will need to be ready to be hit with youthful pace and enthusiasm – much as Derby did at the weekend. For me Steven Caldwell needs to be dropped after an abysmal game at the weekend; Rob Hall could come in for Wade Elliott on the left and there is a possibility Papa Bouba Diop could make his much-delayed debut for Blues as a replacement for Hayden Mullins.

Another defeat will leave Blues looking over their shoulders with greater worry at the drop zone and will increase the noise from the “Clark Out” section of the fanbase. As much as Blues have played bits and pieces of good football it’s not enough – Blues need points any way possible. There is only so much blame that can be laid at the feet of the players and Clark needs to show his managerial mettle. There is a hoary old football adage that players should play to the whistle – in Blues case, they need to start playing from the whistle.

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40 Responses to “Play From the Whistle: Blackpool Preview”

  • RUPERT says:

    I will be at Blackpool but am starting to lose the will to watch Lee Clarks rubbish. I predict another 2 or 3 goals against with 1 goal fightback when its too late. He must have the safest job in football, it matters not a thing if we lose by 1 2 3 4 or 5 He knows he cant be sacked because the club cant afford the pay off ! What a great job.

  • given up says:

    No man if safe anywhere. I live and hope (I hope we win obviously) if we lose that he goes.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    I will be truly astonished if he drops Caldwell his Captain. I will be truly astonished if Mullins is not in the team if fit.

    It is clear that we need a major over haul next summer with the older players going out. Just hope we are still in the division by that time because we wont be if we continue to defend as we are.

    On a brighter note Caddiss nearly back and Hall to inject some pace.

    • chris says:

      i believe at least ten of them are out of contract, so there will be a lot leaving and maybe in Jan, if it means we get a fee for them rather than going for nothing in June.

  • dcp says:

    anyone else get the impression we’re being lied to about the playing staff?
    redmond ‘rested’
    ambrose ‘ill’ at the weekend
    gomis ‘injured’ but there is never any news of progress
    not much added up at bcfc added up before and now these are just matters which riase further doubt

    on another note – whole heartedly agree caldwell should be dropped, play ibanez or put a youth in, after watching that performance at derby on saturday it needs to be really bad to be worse

  • andy says:

    Old Arry made a great statement on his QPR team saying that kids on the park run their socks off to win the ball and win a game. He said that if his players dont do that he will find others that will. Blues need to adopt that and give 100% from start to finish, those that cant or dont should lose the shirt and give it someone that will. I agree about Caldwell on Sat and Ibanez should start tonight instead. I blame the turmoil at the top for the poor season so far and it wont get much better until new owners are in place but for now, give it 100% Blues, from start to finish!

  • bluemat says:

    I agree about Caldwell but he has been consistently bad all season now it wasn’t just derby. He seems to know that hes lost a yard this season and keeps trying to nick the ball in front of the striker, they just roll him as he comes storming through and suddenly were completely out of position. His position for the 3rd goal against derby was absolutely pathetic, 2 of derby’s strikers were in a more advanced stage than him and hes meant to be the last line of defense for us. Hall looks like a raw talent, if he is going to be any good for us he has to play close to the strikers coming in wide from the left but if you watch how Clark sets his team up, every time we go forward he wants the wide man to tuck in so the full back can overlap. Elliot’s getting absolute pelters about losing his position when hes meant to be left mid but do you honestly think he has been instructed to “wonder” around behind the strikers. Likewise Caldwell hammering it 50 odd yards to know one. Its poor tactics and they come from the managers instruction.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Clark’s tactics are wrong especially in away games. We are being overrun in midfield,which means a talented attacking player….Morrison is asked to do too much tracking back and defending instead of,what he is good at, going forward and creating chances.
    Therefore,I suggest Clark plays a flexible 4-5-1 formation with Burke and Hall wide,King up front,Morrison having a free role to go wherever he wants and perm any two from Mullins,Diop and Spector to do the holding job in midfield.

  • Alex T says:

    I know its a risk to play kids, but from a managers perspective its win win, because the fans appreciate it and they cant be any worse than the current dross….

    The current situation is we have 2 old plodders in Caldwell and Robinson at the back (and Davies looks like he has an ever inflating balloon down the wrong side of his pants!)

    On the bench, we have Will Packwood, who’s favoured position is Centre back, but has performed admirably at full back and Mitch Hancox who has shown that he has a bit of pace and flair to give us a real attacking option from the left full back position. They’ve proved they can do a job and have talent, so whats the harm in dropping the 2 old plodders and getting some youth in??

    But we know LC is not going to change anything, regardless of results.

    I have never wanted a manager out as much as this berk and his dinosaur staff

  • ZarateImissYou says:

    Totally agree about Pablo and Diop. They should have their chance now.
    I would not be afraid to put Hancox in as well – we need energy in the team.
    Good news about Caddis – he will make Burke much better

  • ChrisG says:

    I think it’s time we looked at dropping Butland for a while & put Doyle in goal, i can’t ever remember us conceding so many goals, yes he’s a great prospect with a real future ahead of him & he has made some great saves, but he’s still only young & this can’t be doing his confidence much good letting in so many goals all the while, a drop down to the development squad could do him the world of good & Doyle after all is tried & tested at this level. KRO

    • almajir says:

      I don’t think Butland is the problem myself – I think it’s got a lot to do with those in front of him.

      • Ali Duncan says:

        I agree – Butland isn’t the problem and he has grown stronge and more confident with every game. Putting aside early blips in the first few games I think he has been one of our most consistent performers and one of only a small handful that could claim to have had a good season so far.

      • NooBloo says:

        there is merit it dropping Butland. Not because he is playing badly but because a more commanding goalkeeper might be able to urganise the centre of his defence since an older more experienced goalkeeper might just be more commanding and vocal in there

    • nicky wicky says:

      I have studied the team for a while now and i have come to the conclusion that neither the defece nor the goalkeeper communicate properly with each other. butland is reluctant to come off his line and close the attackers down and he doesn’t like coming for crosses. the defenders tend to be static at set pieces and leave the ball for the goalie. Theres often confusion which leads to a goal. whoever is coaching the defence needs to sort it out quick. There is the other reason for putting Doyle in goal. blues have been giving away a lot of penalties,and Doyle has a good record of saving them!

  • david mann says:

    butland spector gordon ibanez davies burke boupadiop morrisson hall king zigic thats your team tonight
    lee pick it.

  • Art Watson says:

    Clark needs to tough out a couple of draws to stop the rot.

    I don’t think for a moment he will approach the game looking for a draw so I forecast another defeat with the pace of Hince doing the damage.

    Hince will relish taking our defence apart!

    • mighty_bluenose says:

      who’s Hince?

      In all honesty Blackpool have one of the best attacks in the division taylor fletcher and ince will have to be off form to get anything. Every time we played them ince has looked prem class…

    • mighty_bluenose says:

      who’s Hince?

      In all honesty Blackpool have one of the best attacks in the division taylor fletcher and ince will have to be off form for us to get anything. Every time we played them ince has looked prem class…

  • Art Watson says:

    Sorry I ment Ince and not Hince.

    Blues are stressing me out.


  • uttb says:

    Doyle, Spector, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Burke, Morrison, Diop, Hall, King, Lovenkrands

  • Can't be worse then Mullins says:

    It’s very worrying when blues fan are more worried about what the other teams gonna do then what blues should do, Sorry but gonna have a moan again, about this hall signing credit to the young man, he does look exciting watching the derby game, but I believe lee Clark is over praising him just a little, Baring in mind blues have got a handful of decent young men to come through, and his only played for half and hour! Spanish capped centre half !!! Play him, loaning Jarvis to Pompey ? Never seen him play but seemed a waste, but wardrobe gotta play blues are lacking inference, the fella got bags of it, World Cup Qualifier , FA Cup to his name, possibly a 70 yard pass blues are missing.. Hull bag loads of pace high line ! Derby with nothing special defending way to deep!

  • darren says:

    what are the circumstances around Fahey? or is it a another fallout with clark

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Blues have had more than their fair share of injuries again this season and losing influential defenders like Carr and now Murphy is a real kick in the teeth.

    Also remember we ain’t even reached the end of November yet and Blues have already conceded three or more goals in at least SIX separate matches as they hover just above the drop zone. Early days? Possibly, but that sort of statistic would (rightly) have cost many a manager his job by now…

    Check out what Alex T posted at 10:13 this morning – can’t really argue with his closing sentiment.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    Goal – Butland
    Back 4 – Spector Davies Ibanez Hancox
    Midfield 5 – Burke Diop Mullins Morrison Hall
    Striker – King

    Diop and Mullins sit, Morrison in a free role. 4-5-1. At half time IF it isn’t working get Mullins off, put Lovenkrands on and play 4-4-2. Get Morrison off after 75 mins and let Ambrose have a run as I refuse to believe the kid is not good enough to offer us something going forward. Also bring Ziggy on for King at the same time if he’s tired, if not use the big man as a last 5 min time-waster.

    It will work…..and by Christ if I was Lee Clark that’s exactly what I would do.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      Blues starting XI V Blackpool: Butland; Caddis, Davies (C), Ibanez, Robinson; Elliott, Mullins, Spector, Morrison, King, Lovenkrands.

      Good to see Caddis back but Elliott and Robinson? Really?!!! Pace at the back, anyone?!!!!! Am I to infer also that Johnny Spector is playing a Midfield role tonight????

      And where is HALL?!!!!

  • given up says:

    We are really in the relegation battle now. 19 games and 21 points is pathetic.

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