Fuller Flavour: On on-going mess and a minor miracle needed – let alone Warnock!
KARL FULLER wonders whether Neil Warnock would be a good fit for Town – but time is running out
A trip to Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, that I made back in November 2013 remains as one of my most memorable away trips to date.
You'll recall how Town went into stoppage time at the end of that game holding a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Frank Nouble and Paul Taylor after falling behind to a Stephen Dobbie goal after 20-odd minutes, only for one-time Ipswich target Steve Davies to score an injury-time equaliser. With three points looking lost, Daryl Murphy popped up with a 93rd-minute winner to send the travelling fans into delirium.
Fast-forward a little over six years and my pre-match thoughts on Saturday wondered if we would see such late drama unfold again.
Sure enough, Blackpool took the lead after 20-odd minutes and just like in 2013, we equalised not that long after the break. A pattern was being followed and the thoughts of late drama increased. When Freddie Sears broke through one-on-one with about 30 seconds left, I thought history would repeat itself.
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We all know what happened next.
Many of us had resigned ourselves to acceptance of a season-ending defeat at home to Oxford United last week, but somehow, there's always that slight hope that keeps the dimming light flickering. Was it last-chance saloon to win at Blackpool? Is that still the case these next few days as we take on two sides above us? Or has the season really ended?
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My column last week was quite a depressive read looking back yet I had quite a bit of feedback agreeing with my thoughts and whilst it was nice not to feel alone in how I'm feeling about our club right now, it shows how far the net has cast in capturing so many fans feeling that the club is in a really bad way at present.
Four wins in 23 games in a run that coincidentally started and finished against Blackpool should, I think, really have signalled the end of Paul Lambert.
There cannot be too many managers who would get away with a run like we've been on. Slipping from first to ninth in a month should be sending out some real alarm bells. I can only think of perhaps one owner in the entire Football League that would allow such a slump and not only give the manager a vote of confidence but slip in a five-year contract too.
Stories of us being linked with Neil Warnock resurfaced again on Sunday and if a change to that effect was to be made, surely it must be sooner rather than later.
If there was any truth in the story, then Warnock would need as many games as possible to turn things around and with two more games approaching very quickly, yes, lose both and that could be Lambert gone, but then that would leave only eight games left and we could be as many as ten points off the play-off places by then.
Warnock would only be a short-term solution. Is it worth putting all our hopes into someone else for just eight games?
We're in an on-going mess that's accumulated over much of the last decade, it will take a minor a miracle to rectify anytime soon, let alone Neil Warnock.
Fleetwood visit Tuesday and are currently unbeaten in nine with five wins and four draws behind them.
Can we turn them over and leapfrog them into eighth place? To state the obvious, nothing less than a win required here and then Coventry visit on Saturday who are on an even more impressive unbeaten run stretching 17 games with 11 wins and six draws behind them.
That really is too tough a test for us to overcame given our record this season against the leagues' better sides.
Finally, a huge well done to the 1,300 plus that went to Blackpool.
You've got more staying power than I have that's for sure.
Our support remains incredible.