The Opposite View
The local derby at Bloomfield Road gives Blackpool a chance to pull further away from their playoff rivals, or Tranmere a chance to close the ever-widening gap between themselves and 6th place.
Ronnie Moore spoke to Tranmere World earlier this week and revealed that he is looking forward to the encounter.
'It's a mouthwatering game on Saturday. It was always going to be a big game, whichever way you look at it. It would have been nicer if there were three points in it and not six. If we beat Blackpool, there are only three points in it and we need a little bit of help. We know what needs to be done. We have to go and be professional and do it right.'
A very fair statement from Ronnie Moore. If Swansea and Carlisle were to lose on Saturday, Tranmere would be right on Blackpool's heels with only 3 points separating the two sides and a playoff place. That is of course the worst case scenario for Blackpool but as we have seen in this league this season, anything can happen! Ideally, Blackpool will be looking to go out on Saturday and put themselves one step closer to guaranteeing their playoff place as the season winds down - and crucial games against Scunthorpe and Swansea could make or break our season.
'They are a good side with a lot of attacking options. But we are not a bad side. It was frustrating more than anything on Friday night [vs Oldham]. I've watched the video of the game and you wonder how we've come off the pitch and lost the game. But you can't defend the way we did if you want to win games.'
Well that certainly bodes well for the Seasiders doesn't it? Defensive mistakes resulting in conceding costly goals? Unfortunately for us, Tranmere have a couple of key players returning for the game on Saturday which we shall get to at the end of the article...
'There are 18 points to play for. While there are 18 points to play for, there's hope for everybody. It's probably the most important 6 games the club has played for some time. We've got to be positive. We need to make sure that when we go to Blackpool, we come off with a clean sheet. We will create chances, there is no doubt about that. The problem is putting it in the back of the net.'
I think those views can be echoed for Blackpool also. The run-in is arguably the most Vital run-in to a season (at the right end of the table!!) in many a year. Blackpool will also be out to finish the game with another clean sheet for 'Rabs' in the 'Pool goal and it will be more important than ever for 'Pool's strikers to be on top form - the likes of Andy Morrell, Keigan Parker (should he be starting!), Scott Vernon, or Ben Burgess - returning from injury - need to be ready to be called upon to fire Blackpool into the playoffs. In recent games, chances have gone begging from our strikers, now is the time to get those mistakes out of their minds.
Back to Tranmere's returning players. Ian Goodison is returning from a suspension and John Thompson is returning from an injury which has put pressure on Ronnie Moore's defenders.
'Thommo is back. I might give him 60 minutes on Wednesday [Reserve game vs Blackpool reserves at Tranmere] to see if he is OK. If he comes through, it gives us another option. He'll be back and Goodison will be back and it puts a bit of pressure on the back four. We certainly haven't been performing well as a unit in the back four, there have been individual errors that have cost us. The four who played on Friday night know they are under pressure. One of them will come out for Goodison. So two of them may come out if Thompson comes back.'
With Moore set to shuffle the pack in order to shore-up his defence in an effort to cut out the Seasiders' attacks, it will be up to the likes of Ian Evatt and former Tranmere defender Michael Jackson to keep the likes of Chris Shuker and Chris Greenacre - both of which are former 'Pool tranfer targets sure to get a good hounding from the 'Pool faithful on Saturday!