It is hard to think of a single redeeming feature, a solitary crumb of comfort, from a Sunday afternoon to forget for Albion.

Tell a lie, there is one. The only way is up.

The Seagulls, thankfully, still have four teams beneath them in the table but, in terms of performance at least, it surely cannot get lower than this.

They were beaten with humiliating ease by a side who, let us not forget, arrived with only one win from nine matches and began the game in the relegation zone.

Some of the names on the teamsheet changed, so too did the tactics at regular intervals, but it was what is fast becoming the same old sorry story.

Albion started slowly again, let in an early goal again, conceded soft goals and, in the brief spells when they were the better side, did not carry enough of a goal threat.

In fact, it was just a more alarming version of the previous League defeats against Chesterfield, Yeovil and Carlisle.

So where does Dean Wilkins go from here? He likes players who are comfortable on the ball and can comfortably switch to different systems during a game.

Principles I cannot see him abandoning the principles that worked so well for him at youth team level, particularly this early in his reign, so the players unable to adapt will presumably be discarded.

There is a more fundamental problem though. The current squad is a pale imitation of the one promoted from the same level via the play-offs three seasons ago.

Since then the best players have consistently been sold and not replaced.

That situation is now catching up with Albion. It is not the fault of Wilkins or, for that matter, Mark McGhee. It merely exposes the folly of McGhee's premature sacking.

It would not make any difference if that Portuguese fella from Chelsea was in charge - without the right tools it is an almost impossible job.

Teenage target man Sam Williams and rightback Andrew Whing, on loan from Aston Villa and Coventry respectively, must be wondering what they have let themselves in for.

Williams, after his goalscoring debut against Chesterfield, was starved of support and service.

Whing at least emerged from the carnage with a semblance of credit, along with veteran centre half Guy Butters on his first start of the season following injury and illness.

It would be very easy to blame, in isolation, the defence for such a shocking result when there was collective responsibility. Nobody picked up midfielder Keith Southern in a congested penalty area as the ex-Evertonian headed Blackpool in front in the 16th minute from a cross struck with the outside of his right foot by Shaun Barker.

The Seagulls conceded from a setpiece once more just past the hour.

Simon Gillett's corner was headed goalwards by Barker for substitute Scott Vernon, on in place of the injured Ben Burgess, to toe-poke in on the volley from close range.

Alex Frutos epitomised Albion's frustration. The normally mild-mannered French winger, a half-time replacement for the dazed Joel Lynch, was sent-off with 18 minutes left for elbowing Barker in an aerial challenge.

The Seagulls could have finished with nine men. A bad tackle by the hard-working Dean Hammond on Danny Coid went unnoticed by referee Paul Armstrong.

Instead they finished with pride dented one last time. In the 88th minute Vernon, set up by fellow substitute Claus Jorgensen, ghosted past Adam El-Abd and Michel Kuipers to slot his second goal of the game and seventh of the campaign.

I know it is hard to believe but it could have been worse. Andy Morrell, with more clinical finishing, might have helped himself to a hat-trick for the rampant visitors.

Albion's best effort came from long range, a 25-yarder by the ever-willing Alex Revell approaching half-time which forced Rhys Evans into his only serious save.

All this in front of the live TV cameras. The Sky well and truly fell in.

The Blackpool line-up contained three players Albion were interested in during McGhee's reign.

The imposing Burgess, his strike partner Morrell and centre half Ian Evatt were not signed for a variety of reasons, among them financial.

At least Adam Hinshelwood, the most natural defender at the club, made a strong return from knee trouble at captain Richard Carpenter's expense in the final half-hour.

And next up it looks a doddle at Scunthorpe, the side that has just beaten leaders Nottingham Forest 4-0 on their own patch!

As Graham Taylor, one of Scunthorpe's favourite sons and biggest fans once remarked: "Do I not like that."

ALBION (4-1-4-1): Kuipers; Whing, El-Abd, Butters, Lynch; Carpenter; Revell, Hammond, Mayo, Cox; Williams.

Subs: Frutos for Lynch (injured 46), Hinshelwood for Carpenter (withdrawn 62), Hart for Butters (withdrawn 77), Sullivan, Gatting.

BLACKPOOL (4-4-2): Evans; Barker, Jackson, Evatt, Coid; Gillett, Southern, Fox, Hoolahan; Burgess, Morrell.

Subs: Vernon for Burgess (injured 41), Jorgensen for Gillett (withdrawn 79), Parker for Morrell (withdrawn 84), Jones, Joseph.