Another win for the Blackpool fans
By Editor
Tuesday 25 Sep 2018 22:15:00
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The League Cup has been a constant source of embarrassment to Blackpool over the years. First round exits to lower league sides, uninspiring performances and seemingly little interest in what is English football's second cup competition. The Seasiders had only progressed to the fourth round once in the last 45 years and, with the club still in the doldrums off the pitch as Owen Oyston refuses to budge, it didn't appear this season would be any different. However, Terry McPhillips is full of surprises and he completed his third win in this competition with the comprehensive despatching of Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night. All things considered, it is a remarkable performance from the manager and players and one that sees 'Pool in the last 16 of the competition. Thus far, the financial rewards have been negligible, however Saturday's draw could yet yield a pay day for the most undeserving of causes.

Many wondered if the turnstile counter at Bloomfield Road was going to have one of their funny turns and declare an attendance way above the two blocks of fans from either side who turned up. However, strange when there is attendance receipts to be split, that suddenly the head counters came up with a plausible 1,910. The only comparison we can make is on 23 September 2003 when Blackpool beat Birmingham in the 2nd round of the League Cup. With just two stands open, 7,370 crammed in to Bloomfield Road to see Steve McMahon's side beat Brum thanks to a Scott Taylor goal. 15 years on and you'd like to think that 'in normal circumstances Tuesday's crowd would have surpassed that, but that reflects the true impact of NAPM. There'll have been 6000 fans (maybe more) who will have wanted to support their team tonight but the stubborn old fool at the helm continues to deny them that opportunity. Tangerine Misfit summed it up perfectly when he said "Should be buzzing. Another Cup win, 11 games unbeaten, in to the last 16 of the cup and yet my only thought is why couldn't they have won on Saturday and lost tonight. I don't want Oyston to get a big pay day at City/Liverpool away. Last November I thought we'd got our club back, but fast forward 11 months and still waiting".

However, the emotional turmoil of fans, should not take away from the high emotions in the Bloomfield Road dressing room after that win. Players like Nottingham has never played in this cup, Guy hasn't proved himself in a first team, Dodoo had been rejected by his parent club and Spearing was heading for the twilight of his career at Tranmere (if the rumours were to be believed). However, somehow McPhillips has moulded this squad and rotated his players to pull off one of the surprises of the round outwitting a former England manager (even if it was the Wally with the brolly). Whilst it would be remiss not to mention the work that Gary Bowyer has put in to this side, this is definitely now McPhillips team and who knows if his predecessor and peer would have achieved anything close to what El Tel has. There are no real stand out players in this side and it's the cohesion and tactics that are winning games. We're still very early on in the season but it does feel as if this side is in far better shape than the club they are playing for.

For too many years, Blackpool fans have had to watch other lower league sides have their 'day in the cup' as they have progressed in a competition which the Seasiders have left at the earliest opportunity. However, reading tomorrow's paper and news of this win, it will still feel a hollow one. Whilst the majority of fans will feel pleased for McPhillips and the players, progression in this competition remains a double edged sword. However, Wednesday's headline will be as much about the small attendance and the hatred of Oyston as the victory, and for that reason it's another win for the Blackpool fans.

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