Blackpool are entering a new era in their history, one free of the tyrannical owner who oversaw their complete collapse.
Not so long ago they climbed into the Premier League, a fairytale rise from bottom to top. Just as quickly they fell back down, spending time in League Two recently before bouncing back to League One.
Manager Gary Bowyer left at the beginning of the season, with his his assistant Terry McPhillips taking over on a 12-month rolling contract as boss.
Recent events off the field have given the fans cause to return from a self-imposed boycott.
They returned to find their side in ninth place, just four points outside the top six with their play-off ambitions firmly in place. With eight matches to go, one fewer than Doncaster, it’ll be a big ask but they’re in with a shout.
McPhillips has spoken of meeting the new owners to discuss the future of the club, on and off the field. They should be making his future a priority, for the following three reasons.
Working Under Pressure
McPhillips have proven himself to be adept at working under intense pressure. The boycott, along with off the field issues, meant Blackpool were always a tough side to look after.
He’s shielded his players from much of the furore and kept them focused on football. That’s no mean feat.
There’s likely to be more upheaval on the way, possibly a takeover and the new season preparations.
They need a bedrock, somebody who is constant to gravitate around.
All grand buildings are placed on solid foundations and right now, Blackpool are building from the bottom up.
He’s taken an odd route into management, 50-years-old and in his first role.
He’s been a coach, first and foremost, and that shines through in how he organises his players.
He works with them technically and tactically very well, something some managers leave to their coaches.