The appointment of Mick McCarthy as the new Head Coach of Blackpool was seen as the spark that could finally see the Seasiders clamber out of the bottom three.
The disastrous reign of Michael Appleton saw the Tangerines fall into the bottom three and have been rooted ever since. Defeat after defeat has seen confidence shot prompted Blackpool owner make the call to wield the axe and bring the curtain down on Appleton’s tenure and eye watering winning percentage of a measly 24.1%.
Here are some of the reasons as to why McCarthy has failed get the Seasiders away from trouble.
Throughout Mick McCarthy’s career as a manager the Yorkshire man has presided over a style of physicality over flair. Blackpool possess a number of quality players in their ranks who are more than capable of playing at the highest level. McCarthy was seen as ‘a firefighter’ who was the beacon of hope to get Blackpool away from the Championship trapdoor.
However, not utilising his best players in an attacking system which the Tangerine faithful wants to see has seen a downturn in results. The hard style of McCarthy has yet to bear fruit and his tactical flexibility has seen the Seasiders change system from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 with no avail.
Not letting the shackles off
The acquisitions of Manchester City wideman Morgan Rogers and the return of the tricky Josh Bowler in the January market were seen as the potential catalyst to garner the Seasiders towards Championship safety. Once in full throttle Rogers and Bowler can penetrate the best of defences in the Championship landscape however in the Blackpool story this term its been a case of the best players being nullified in this tepid system.
Ian Poveda, whom has an arsenal of trickery in his armour and has been seen as one of the quality players in the Lancashire side’s ranks, has been sprung on too late. As has the Manchester City loanee Lewis Fiorini who only last week netted a sweet volley from the edge of the box for his Scotland side in the game against Sweden. Fiorini was the most notable absentee from the hugely disappointing derby day loss against Blackpool’s bitterest of rivals Preston North End who ran out 3-1 victors at Deepdale.
Failing to capitalise on beating teams around them
This has been another hallmark in McCarthy’s tenure in charge. The first game of the former Republic of Ireland boss McCarthy was more or less a right of against Michael Carrick’s high flying Middlesbrough. The big games were to be against the teams around them. Huddersfield Town arrived at Bloomfield Road in February in the same boat as Blackpool needing the three points to edge closer to safety. Just like the season itself tells McCarthy failed to get his side set up to attack the Terriers and could only muster a feeble 2-2 draw.
The next dogfight game was the clash with Matt Taylor’s Rotherham United. Another defensive style performance with the Seasiders failing to go for the game and sitting in tight to grind out a tedious point to leave them rooted to the bottom three. Talisman Jerry Yates was left isolated and cut a broken character as yet another winnable game was passed up.
Time to be brave
Blackpool now face Cardiff City on Good Friday with this being one of seven ‘cup finals’ left as the Championship season begins to whittle down. Cardiff are in free fall themselves and are just four points ahead of the men from Bloomfield Road. This is arguably the biggest game of the season and it’s time for McCarthy to put his best foot forward and show charisma to let Poveda, Rogers, Bowler and Fiorini all start.
If those boxes are all ticked the Tangerines will have a serious shot in the arm to go and claim a monstrous three points. Lose and it could be curtains.