FL72 Review: Don Goodman reflects on the Football League weekend
Don Goodman on Paul Ince's problems, James Beattie's fine and Birmingham's home trouble.
Last Updated: 26/01/14 1:55pm
DON SAYS: In Blackpool's defence, the depth of their squad is not the strongest in the Championship and, of course, they went through that spate of having about five players sent off in two games and they simply didn't cope. Now they seem to be in a little bit of freefall so this was probably the perfect time for Barnsley to be playing them and they took advantage to win 2-0. Danny Wilson will have been pleased - but what he will have been slightly disappointed with is the other results.
I think Paul Ince will accept the situation. At the end of the day he is a realist; he's been in the game long enough to know that it is results that ultimately get you success but that also get you the sack when they are going negatively. He'll be disappointed with the results. I haven't seen their game so I'm not sure how they are playing but certainly confidence can't be that high.
Birmingham at home in basement battle
DON SAYS: If you look at the form that Blackpool, in 14th, are in I'm sure they'll be in the bottom three if they get one point from their next nine games. All of the teams from 14th down will be looking over their shoulder.
Who would have thought that the bottom four teams - Charlton, Doncaster, Yeovil and Barnsley - would all win at the same time when they've barely been able to win a game between them all season? Certainly a point-a-game is nowhere near good enough. People usually talk about reaching 50 points but last season that was nowhere near enough to save you, so it's going to be very interesting down the bottom.
Birmingham, in 17th, lost at home to Yeovil and St Andrews is not the fortress that it used to be. They've got the second-worst home points tally in the Championship, so that tells you everything. They are not that far out of a run of games where they were unbeaten in nine - that's how quickly it can turn. Lee Clarke won't be happy with what's going on there at the moment.
It's far from Rovers, particularly if DJ is on-song
DON SAYS: Doncaster's win over Wigan was my result of the weekend. Nobody would have seen that coming because Wigan were flying and had an opportunity to get very, very close to a play-off spot had they won. They go to Doncaster who are really, really struggling and lose 3-0.
Ian Holloway knows that he's got a massive job on at Millwall. I know that they've signed DJ Campbell on loan. Obviously scoring goals is a huge problem - they've only scored two in the last six games - and DJ Campbell is a player who did very well for Holloway at Blackpool.
Coventry in contention in competitive play-off push
DON SAYS: The battle for the League One play-offs goes down to Coventry in 11th place - I wouldn't rule them out; let's not forget that they'd be on 44 points had they not had 10 points deducted, so in terms of ability and form they are certainly capable. MK Dons, in 10th, are usually there or thereabouts. Port Vale, in eighth, have been the surprise package for me - Micky Adams has done incredibly well to keep them in the hunt while Walsall play lovely football on a shoe-string budget and I really wasn't surprised that Brentford didn't win that game.
But when you look at how tight it is at the top there's everything to play for. We thought Leyton Orient might go away but they haven't, Brentford are on an incredible run and Wolves are very, very strong - they haven't set the world on fire but are still right in there - and Preston will be very, very frustrated that they've missed a chance to close the gap on Wolves to just the one point in third. So it's all to play for.
Southend's surge, Oxford sliding, Beattie's fine
DON SAYS: Phil Brown is going very well at Southend - it was a top-of-the-table clash against Chesterfield and his team came up trumps. He's clearly got some good players and there are plenty of legs in that team and some clever movement.
When you consider that Oxford were top for quite some time it's incredible to think that if they had lost this game they would have been seven points off an automatic spot, which has to be the aim for them. There are only four points between the top six so it's still very, very tight.
On James Beattie's fine, there's always a bone of contention between some ex-players about coaching badges and whether you need them or not. It might be a little bit like passing your driving test, where the minute you pass your test you don't use that experience so much. I think James Beattie's record speaks for itself and I think it's a little bit harsh fining a League Two club for employing a manager without a coaching badge. You can understand it in the top level and maybe even the Championship, but below that I think you should cut clubs some slack. Fining Accrington Stanley any money puts a big burden on them.
Click here to watch further video highlights from the Football League weekend.