Continued improvement again? Northampton preview

A resurgent Blackpool will aim to extend their unbeaten run to six games when they host Northampton at Bloomfield Road on Saturday. The Tangerines have moved out of relegation danger by taking nine points from their last five games and that has also seen them leapfrog Northampton in the table. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men have drawn their last two games and will represent stubborn opposition, but Blackpool should feel confident in their ability to overwhelm the visitors. They have been much improved in recent weeks and will aim to end a somewhat testing season on as high a note as possible.

Betonline will have odds for the Blackpool, review them and you will see that the Tangerines are heavy favourites to win this game. That is a mark of how far they have come along since the start of February. They were good value for their win last weekend as goals from Kyle Vassell and Clark Robertson put Portsmouth to the sword. However, they are without a win in their last 10 home games and manager Gary Bowyer is desperate to rectify that.

“It’s always nice to win in front of your home support and that’s something we’ve got to address,” he said. “The win at Portsmouth will give us another confidence boost but it all comes from the hard work in training. We just concentrate on the performances to try to get the results. We’ve got to do the same again next week when we’re back at home. It’s no coincidence there was a lovely surface at Fratton Park and it does make a difference, but this is something that we went through last season. You just take each game as it comes but we’ve now got to take this into next weekend’s game against Northampton.”

After beating Portsmouth last time out, Blackpool now have the 10th best away record in the division. However, they are just 17th in the home table, with five wins from 16, and the loyal home support could do with a greater reward for their efforts. Northampton is a good opponent to pick up that elusive win against. The Cobblers have lost eight out of 17 away games and conceded 31 goals in the process, so Vassell and co should be licking their lips in anticipation of Northampton’s visit. The bookmakers agree and they have Blackpool as odds-on favourites to win the game.

Mid-table obscurity now beckons for the club, who are 200/1 to be promoted and 20/1 to be relegated. That is a result compared to a month ago, when the situation was looking extremely precarious. Maintaining League One status is the bare minimum required at a tumultuous point in the club’s history.

It was reported this week that Blackpool’s losses increased from £1.7 million to £2.2 million during the 2016-17 season when they were promoted back to League One. The club’s owners, the Oyston family, owe at least £20 million to Latvian businessman Valeri Belokon after losing a High Court battle in November. The family missed a £10 million payment due to Belokon this month under the terms of a £31 million court order to buy him out. An independent audit into the club’s finances said the judgement against Owen and Karl Oyston creates material uncertainty over Blackpool’s debts. Amid continued uncertainty off the pitch, the players and manager should be applauded for turning their fortunes around in the league, and they can only try to maintain their focus and keep racking up points. It could be a busy summer in the transfer market and Bowyer and his team will want to make the club as attractive a prospect as possible, and beating Northampton would be a great start.

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