Two huge games this weekend which could either help us pull away from the relegation scrap, or put us right in the middle. Currently we sit in 17th place on 46 points, only 4 points above Peterborough who occupy the last relegation spot.
First up this afternoon is the Lancashire derby against Chicken FC who are also in the thick of the relegation battle. Onto their 4th manager of the season after the departure of Michael Appleton they have the squad win the remaining games but have relied on their home form too much this season. They are one place below on the same points, but with one game in hand due to their FA Cup run. Their run in isn’t too bad with them only having to play Cardiff and Palace, the rest of their fixtures are against fellow relegation threatened sides.
Checking the odds at TFBets Blackburn are favourites for today’s game but have a long injury list at the moment, including DJ Campbell who won’t be returning to face us due to an ankle injury.
Then on Monday we face Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace. The meeting at Selhurst Park earlier this season had a little extra about it and we did well to grab a last minute point thanks to a strike from Dicko, how we could use him! I expect the reception to be good for Holloway, however once the game kicks off I’m sure he’ll start to get some stick.
The fixtures this weekend are pretty spread out, today only the Derby vs Bristol City match involves a team in the relegation battle. Bristol are rooted to the foot of the table and look to be odds on to go down at this stage. Tomorrow the big fixture is Sheffield V Barnsley who occupy the two spots above the relegation zone.
Two wins this weekend is a big ask. It would but us up to 52 points with 6 to go. No points could be disastrous, considering in the remaining six games we have to face Forrest, Burnley, Sheffield, Brighton, Derby and Bolton! Realistically a couple of points would be a good return from the Easter weekend fixtures.
Using the BBC Championship predictor I have us ending up on 52 points, however that target only being achieved on the penultimate fixture against Derby. Squeaky bum time as Fergy would say!
This afternoon I tweeted that I couldn’t see the speculation about Michael Appleton going to Blackburn being true, however this is Blackpool FC.
Just a short time ago this appeared on the Blackburn Rovers website.
So Rovers are going in for Appleton, why, I don’t have a clue.
Appleton shouldn’t go simply because he’s only been Blackpool manager for a short time.
However if the other speculation is true that Appleton’s not having the best of times during the transfer window then there’s the chance that this could go ahead.
Knowing Karl Oyston he’s accept the offer as we’ll get…. sorry he’ll get the compensation money. Good business.
If Appleton goes then the season is pretty much over.
Karl Oyston promised to move fast to find a replacement to Ian Holloway and for once he delivered on his promise. Less than a week since the departure of Holloway Karl got his man signing up Michael Appleton from Portsmouth as the new Blackpool manager.
The Manc who played for Manchester United, Preston (it’s best we try to forget this) and West Brom had his career cut short after a botched knee opp and finished playing back in 2001 aged 26. Since then he spend time at West Brom working up the age groups and then with managers Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson as an assistant manager.
He then spend just short of a year at Portsmouth as manager under somewhat difficult circumstances, including two administrations, losing all his players in the summer and having to sign players for free on monthly rolling contracts.
A totally different manager to Ian Holloway, Appy (guess it’s the nickname for him) on the exterior seems a little calmer, well-drilled in the coaching aspects of the game and not being the out-and-out man-manager Holloway was/is.
One concern of the appointment is that he has been selected due to having experience of working under difficult conditions. Karl’s thinking might be – He’s a manager that’s not had a penny to spend in the past year, is used to rolling contracts, having to loan in players, find players for free and working with a tight budget – therefore he should find it somewhat easy as the Blackpool manager. Time will tell if he’s going to cope with the Karl Oyston regime of doing things!
First task for Appy is this Saturday in the Lancashire / North-West derby with Bolton. He might look to stick with the same 11 that grabbed the impressive mid-week win over Sheffield Wednesday. Ian Evatt is back after a one match ban but with the first clean sheet in 11 matches it might be best to stick to the same back 5 that started against Wednesday which included Craig Cathcart in place of Evatt.
I can see the fans getting fully behind Appleton, so here’s looking forward to the first game in the Appleton era!