'Pool's May Review
SuddickTheKing writes about May 2007, the best month for BFC in years.
Unfortunately, I couldn`t go to Swansea but consoled myself with the thought that I went last season and well, Swansea were desperate for points, we were already in the play off places so we`d probably be on a hiding to nothing…..how wrong could I be?!! To go there and win is one thing but to come from behind twice and go on to score SIX was just unbelievable.
So, our play off semi final was to be against our nearest League One and Lancashire rivals - Oldham Athletic. Suddenly everyone is talking about form going out of the window; a local derby was anyone`s game and they owed us one for winning there in the league. We were due a wobble too, I mean, 7 straight wins - we couldn`t keep that up surely. If you wanted an omen, the weather was awful, gloomy and tipping it down. My missus and I had driven down from Coniston where we were on holiday, and hit a monsoon on the M61! However, my fears were cast away as we got to the ground and saw the amazing 'Pool support. That was worth a goal start! The Wizards battered Oldham in the second half and really the tie should have been over there and then. Still, to be grumbling that you`d 'only` won 2-1 in the away leg of a play off semi final really did bring home how far this team had come.
The home leg was a very tense affair and despite not playing particularly well, yet again we 'won ugly` and in all honesty, quite comfortably. The three goals we scored were complete contrasts and just emphasised the range of scoring opportunities we have been taking this season.
Wembley beckoned. WEMBLEY! The name alone makes the legs go weak but yes, my beloved Blackpool FC were going to play Yeovil in the Play Off final. Talk about winner takes all!
So much has been written about last Sunday that I do not need to give a blow by blow account. Suffice it to say that Blackpool gave possibly their most determined performance of the season, the scoreline actually being kind to Yeovil. At no time in that 90 minutes were we ever going to lose and had we taken our chances we would have won by a much bigger margin. It mattered not - we were going up! Blackpool were a Championship side at last.
Incredible….amazing….unbelievable! We`d finished third, top scorers and ended the season with a record TEN consecutive victories. It still hasn`t sunk in.
Humble pie time now; I hold my hand up and admit I was distinctly unimpressed by Larry`s performance during those dark days of August and September. I called him 'the Tinkerman` because he was always changing the side around, sometimes playing people out of position. To think that Wes was understudy to Rory Prendergast at this time shows that Larry really didn`t know his best team. However, once he got his side together and played it week in, week out, things started to gel and the rest is history. Massive, massive credit to all the management staff; to Karl Oyston for not panicking when it would have been easy to do so; to the players for working their socks off and becoming such a formidable force; and to the longsuffering fans who have been simply magnificent, especially those of us who travelled away.
However, it wouldn`t be me if I didn`t utter a few words of caution though -if we are a Championship team on the pitch, we need to become one off it too. There are major areas of concern and if we have any real ambitions to succeed at this level then dramatic changes need to be made. The way tickets are sold is archaic and - in my opinion - has lost the club a significant number of fans. The shop/merchandising side is run like a charity shop. Business acumen and expertise must be brought in to capitalise on our new status. Finally, the south stand surely has to be built. Nearly every team in this division will bring significant numbers of fans which, when added to the likely increase in the number of home supporters, means that the much argued about 'business case` is definitely there to justify construction. Come on Karl, now is the time, seize the opportunity. It is time to live up to our motto…PROGRESS.
Up the Wizards!
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