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Are Blackpool on their way back up to the top?

Friday 28th April 2017
Blackpool may be well known for once having one of the most controversial, free-talking managers around whilst playing their trade in the Premier League. Nowadays, Ian Holloway manages Championship side Queens Park Rangers, who sit some 35 places above Holloway's former seaside town club. 

Let's take a look at Blackpool's potential rise, back to the top.

Since relegation to the Championship back in 2011, following a 4-2 loss to Manchester United on the last day of the season, the Seasider's fortunes haven't changed much. After scraping by in the Championship for four long seasons, the club then suffered back-to-back relegations down to League Two. The meteoric drop saw the club's fans turn on owners, staging many pitch protests in recent history. With all this devastating history in mind, fans must be desperate for a promotion more than ever.

Blackpool's prospects are as good as ever, as they sit in 6th place in the league (places 4th-7th take part in a playoff campaign) with just two games remaining. With an away tie to Notts County and a final league game at home to already relegated Leyton Orient, their playoff hopes are looking good with just two points separating them and 8th place. Should the league stay how it is with the last two games to play, Blackpool will be battling it out against Luton, Exeter and Stevenage. Experience in the play-off's is key, not just within the players, but within the whole club.

Play-off experience is something that Blackpool definitely have, having achieved playoff success across all three leagues below the Premier League (Blackpool are the only club to have won all three divisional play-offs). This is an incredible feat, something that will bring hope and confidence to all involved. While Blackpool doesn't have a recognised goalscorer that they can bank on scoring, they seem to share the goals around. However, they'll be looking to top goalscorer Kyle Vassell (11) to push them over the line to reach the playoffs and start their rise back to where they belong.

Manager, Gary Bowyer, has clearly enjoyed his first season as Blackpool boss. He's managed to push them right up the league to be in contention for League One football next season. While I can't predict the future, Blackpool definitely deserves to be in a higher league than they find themselves today, especially home to a stadium with a capacity of over 17,000.

The Seasiders face stern competition with teams in great form, especially with the playoff race still as open as I've ever seen it. An astonishing 11 teams can still make the grade as they will all be battling it out for a place inside the top seven places on offer.

It is crucial that Blackpool do not lose their concentration and focus, even taking the final two games one by one, particularly as nothing is guaranteed. Good form going into the playoffs is also key. Rounding up a couple of wins in the final games could do the squad wonders, especially as all you have to do is have the best three games of your season inside the playoffs to become victorious. I for one, hope that the club finally give the fans something to cheer about over the next few months, to hopefully put the protests aside and in the past.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

Total articles: 76

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