Blackpool kick off at home to Bristol Rovers
By Editor
Thursday 20 Jun 2019 07:54:00
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Probably not since the 2012/13 season (the era of Ollie/Appleton/Ince) has there been a clamour to check the new fixtures. That was probably the last time Blackpool fans went in to a season with any optimism or enthusiasm, kicking off with three straight victories including the 6-0 demolition of Ipswich Town. However by the time we reached November and Holloway's departure, the curtain started to come down on the 'good times' at Bloomfield Road and the rest is history. Now, as the curtain rises again on a new season and a new era for the Seasiders, the release of the 2019/2020 fixtures will be analysed and scrutinised to see if this is the year when 'Pool can finally claw back some credibility. It's worth remembering the last three times we've gone in to a new decade that it's been quite pivotal for the club and so let's see what happens as we start the new campaign at home to Bristol Rovers.

The 'Pool have been away from home on the opening day the last two seasons and so it seemed fair that we started a new season at Bloomfield Road. However, Bristol Rovers have been a bit of a bogey team of late and so it's a good time to put that record right. It's a long trip down to Southend the following week - the club that will forever be associated with the return to Bloomfield Road - with two more tricky home games against Oxford and Portsmouth in August. The Seasiders also get a good local Boxing Day fixture at home to Accrington Stanley whilst an unusual Sunday afternoon game at Tranmere is the fixture between the festivities and the New Year, whilst 2020 starts away at Rotherham. Good Friday is at home to Rochdale in another decent holiday game, however the fixtures have been unkind on the Easter Monday with a trip to Portsmouth. 'Pool end the season on the road at MK Dons and the final fixture is at home to Doncaster Rovers. Meanwhile in the Carabao Cup, the Seasiders will face Macclesfield at home.

Of course there is much for Terry McPhillips (or whoever ends up in charge!) to do before that new campaign gets underway. Despite the mid-table league position, the end of the season formed showed the cracks both in the way that Terry set his team up but also the personell he had available. Whilst the signings of a striker and a defender pretty much replaces like for like, it's width, pace and attack minded individuals the side sadly still lacks. However rumours of who could be joining the squad sound exciting although Charlie Adam still could be pie in the sky. It looks as though there is a temporary pause on recruitment whilst Simon Sadler takes stock of the club as a whole before investing in taking the club forward. The release of the fixtures is a reminder that pre-season is only a week away and that the new campaign gets underway in just six weeks time. With nearly 4500 season tickets sold, and that total likely to increase to nearer 6000, there is a sense of expectation ahead of the new season slomg with the reality that the new man has to have time to settle in.

The fact we are now in a position to put dates in the diary and look ahead to a new campaign should always be at the fore of fan's minds. It's easy to to get carried away with what might happen next season when, at present, on the pitch not a huge amount has changed from last season. That is what makes the next six weeks so interesting and that opening day fixture against Bristol Rovers one to hopefully relish.

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