2017 Predictions: Bowyer may resign at Blackpool

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Gary Bowyer

Given the number of managers who have failed at Bloomfield Road since Ian Holloway’s exit, Gary Bowyer deserves credit for the job he has done.

He has built a hardworking team. Tom Aldred, arguably Blackpool’s best player over the last 18 months, has been immense at centre-back. There is a combative edge in midfield with Danny Pugh providing leadership. The team gets the ball to the two forwards, normally Kyle Vassell alongside either Jamille Matt or Mark Cullen, with speed and simplicity.

Their expected goals record of over 1.6 per game (Experimental 361) is bettered by only four teams in the division while they have conceded fewer ‘actual’ goals than Doncaster and Carlisle. The pre-Christmas videos on the club’s YouTube channel – evidences the camaraderie within the group and spirit looks far stronger than it has been in previous seasons.

However, while spirit among the players has helped the club get results on the pitch, there is a lack of progress off it. Karl Oyston remains in control of the club and many fans refuse to fund his regime. In an ordinary season, Bloomfield Road should be one of the best attended grounds in League Two, let alone when the team is eighth in the table and playing well. Instead, their average gate of 3.5k ranks in the bottom half of the Football League’s basement tier.

With few signs of Oyston selling, the enthusiasm of boycotting supporters is unlikely to return, regardless of the results. It is difficult to sustain good performances with no support from the owners, in a stadium with 14k-odd empty seats and a complete disconnect between the club and it’s fans. Bowyer may recognize that all of these problems limit the longer-term potential of the club.

This blog predicts that he will help get Blackpool into the play-offs this year – but quit while results are positive and leave with his reputation re-built.

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