View From The Town End: Blackpool

I'm an Ince... get me out of here - Clive Rose

So game 28 of 46 on the horizon and to help bring us up to speed on our opponents Blackpool we spoke to Tangerines blogger Chris Walker who writes for Measured Progress

How would you sum up Blackpool's season so far?

Confusing. We started like a house on fire winning five of the first six, but in truth we rode our luck in many of those wins, so it wasn't surprising when things started to even themselves out. However, the pace at which we've gone backward is staggering and we now find ourselves in a position without a manager, about to lose our best player and dangerously close to being involved in a relegation battle.

When we last met, Blackpool won 1-0 to keep themselves in the automatic promotion places, since then it seems to have all gone a bit wrong, with Paul Ince paying the price with his job. Just what has changed since that August day and now?

Essentially Paul Ince's negative tactics finally caught up with him. Week after week it was the same 4-5-1 cautious approach, with four of the five midfielders usually being defensive. We were relying on never conceding the first goal, and once that started to happen Ince had no idea how to adapt to chase games. Ill-discipline started to pervade the squad too, starting with the manager's own five game stadium ban for threatening and pushing a 4th official. Five red cards in two matches at the start of December, combined with a few injuries meant the squad was severely weakened and embarked on a run of nine defeats in 10. A spineless 2-0 defeat at Barnsley was the final straw and Ince's position after that was untenable.

Who would you like to succeed Ince long-term?

Personally I've always admired the work Sean O'Driscoll has done, both at Bournemouth and Doncaster. Things didn't go well for him at Bristol City, but that's been a bit of a 'problem child' club for a while now and with more time I expect he would have turned that situation around. However, before we appointed Ince, O'Driscoll was one of many candidates who turned us down, so that might not be realistic. It looks as if Barry Ferguson will be given a chance at least until the end of the season, and I think the fans will unite around him. The supporters were virtually unanimous in wanting rid of Ince, so anyone who at least attempts to get us playing some attacking football will get vocal backing.

What were your impressions of Reading earlier this season?

I remember actually being a little disappointed in Reading if I'm honest. I'd had Reading down as one of my tips for automatic promotion, but you offered little on the day at Bloomfield Road. I don't think it helped that both Jobi McAnuff and Adam Le Fondre, both players who have caused us problems in the past, were on the bench and the poor Nick Blackman started. Royston Drenthe looked very dangerous however and I'm surprised he hasn't run riot in the Championship this season.


Anybody Reading fans should be worried about Tuesday night?

Well certainly not Tom Ince! Following his father's sacking, Ince has looked for a quick exit and will be leaving on loan during the transfer window. Unfortunately his attitude has gone sour, although some of the abuse aimed at him for his father's failings has crossed a line. Nonetheless, if his head's not right he's best served by a move away and we can hopefully release some finances to fill the gap. Tom Ince was the one player in the side with an extra bit of quality, so it's hard to single anyone else out for special attention. That said, David Goodwillie has just arrived on loan and if we can unlock some of his potential from a couple of years ago, then he might be worth keeping an eye out for.

Anyone Blackpool are particularly worried about?

The aforementioned Le Fondre and McAnuff are definitely two we need to watch closely, and I'm always wary of Kaspars Gorkss coming back to haunt us with a header from a corner or free-kick.

Score prediction?

Without a win in 11, I would like to hope it will be 12th time lucky, but our squad still needs heavy reinforcement before the transfer window closes - this help is unlikely to arrive before tomorrow night. If we play like we did on Saturday though, a point is definitely achievable. I'll go for 2-2.

Thanks again to Chris and you can follow him on twitter@onedavebamber

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