Blackpool hit the ground running
After Tuesday's programme of matches in the Championship the only team left with a 100 per cent record is Blackpool. Yet again Ian Holloway's team has startled the rest of the division.
Though Blackpool are remembered - and celebrated for it - by many fans for their dramatic season as a Premier League side, it's become all too clear now that Holloway's success in getting his team to the top level was no one-off miracle.
The Tangerines were defintely unlucky to be relegated after one campaign at the top level and again very unfortunate not to go straight back via last season's play-off final. Holloway's side could have been embarking on their second or third Premier League season this August.
Any hangover from May's play-off final has been blown away by the club's excellent start, achieved at a time when one of the club's key players is very unsettled. Rather than bemoan Matt Phillips's desire to leave, the manager has more or less ignored it and got on with the business of winning points.
Ian Holloway's relentlessly positive attitude enthuses the Blackpool squad but he couldn't achieve what he does on confidence building and eccentricity alone. Behind the singular image is a strong football brain and a manager with the courage to take risks.
Given the sort of budgets Holloway works with, a conservative approach would have zero possibility of getting Blackpool anywhere near promotion. It may keep them in the Championship but to challenge for the top, Holloway has to push the boat out.
In practice this means putting out attacking team selections with encouragement to players to be creative, take risks and play withour fear. Easier said than done but despite the odd hammering, it works for the club far more times than it doesn't.