Blackpool v Bristol Rovers Preview
By Editor
Thursday 11 Jan 2018 18:59:00
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When you look back to the summer transfer window, Gary Bowyer adopted a scattergun approach to bringing in raw talent. Throw enough mud and eventually some will stick. In the managers case it was Curtis Tilt who has found the step up to League One the easiest. The rest - Scott Quigley, Nick Anderton, Max Clayton and even Callum Cooke have struggled to make any real impact this season. There lies Bowyer's problem - his 'squad' players can't be relied on when called on and thus 'Pool have a lack of strength in depth. It's unlikely many of the 8 who came in to the side at Shrewsbury did enough to earn a starting place on Saturday with the notable exception of Joe Lumley. Finally it seems that Bowyer has found a Number one and with goals conceded his big problem the last few games, it'll be interesting to see if the rest of the team can capitalise on that against Bristol Rovers.

There have been many more questions than answers about the Oystons intentions both on and off the field in 2018. With another £10 million payment to find at the end of the month, there must be a few worried looks around the Boardroom table these days (that's if they've not flogged it on e-bay!). With no real saleable assets around the squad these days, the O's won't have much interest in the incomings or outgoings. You get the feeling that Alex Cowdy and his team are working within budget with Allsop making way for Lumley and the departures of Boney and Correia on loan giving the manager a bit of loose change to bring in another player. With the news this week that Kyle Vassell was close to a return and Cullen hopefully not far behind him, the manager might well wait to hear about news of those two than splurge his money on an untried forward (let's face it, with Blackpool's budget it'd be a bit more John O'Kane than Harry Kane coming in). 

Last weekend's defeat at Oxford said as much about the strengths of this team as it did the weakness. Dominate a game, have numerous shots at the opposition goal and concede to a soft set piece. It's a story that has been written many times under Bowyer's leadership and maybe reflects a soft underbelly in this side. Quite often it seems to be high energy and low on quality. It seems as though we have a settled back four but after that the lack of consistancy in the starting XI is maybe one of the reasons for any consistancy in results. Whilst the win at Rochdale has given the side a bit of breathing space, the Seasiders face a tough few months of fixtures against the top sides when 
they won't want to be desperate for points. Bristol Rovers have been consistant of late with games won, drawn and lost as well as goals scored and conceded, although there home record is far superior to their results on the road.

These are a big couple of games for the Seasiders with AFC Wimbledon next up and Bowyer could do with finding a winning formula sooner or later. Whilst off the field matters remain far more pressing and of interest, if the Seasiders could pick up six points from their next two outings it would relieve some of the pressures on the pitch.

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