Blackpool went some way to allaying fears that they won’t be able to challenge for a Premier League return without David Vaughan, Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell with a fairly surprising 1-0 win away to top-six hopefuls Hull.
It wasn’t a great performance by Ian Holloway’s side, who hit a lot of aimless long balls over the course of the match, but it was a very encouraging result, especially coming in their first competitive game since relegation.
The winner in a game that looked destined to finish level despite several great chances for both teams, especially for the hosts, came against the run of play yet was an absolute stunner from ex-Hull player Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
Belief was swelling at full time in the away end as Holloway bowed down to his supporters and then played down his perceived negativity in the pre-match press conference by stating his intention to take the Seasiders back up.
They are now 14/1 to win the title having been 20/1 before kick-off, though there must be question marks regarding the ability of a front three with an average age of 34 to last a 46-fixture campaign, while Hull are out from 25/1 to 28/1.
Despite the boos that greeted the final whistle, this result shouldn’t demoralise any Tigers backers too much, as they were very impressive in spells, with on-loan Manchester United youngster Robbie Brady the best player on the pitch.
Were it not for a rare off day for their highly regarded striker Matty Fryatt, who had two huge openings, the former Premier League club would have pocketed at least a point.
Those that fancied them to challenge for top spot before the match should consider backing them at their new inflated price, as Norwich lost at home to Watford in last season’s curtain-raiser but bounced back.