4th April 2009
World Cup Qualifiers? Shearer back at Newcastle? HA!
The only thing that matters this week is that after all the distractions of the past week away from Blackpool Football Club, we're back in action in yet another key game!
Plymouth Argyle the visitors this time out (after a week-long break to fit in some corporate games at Wembley!) and there are some extremely vital points for the victors - and what do points make? SURVIVAL!
'Fortress Bloomfield Road' isn't what it used to be, admittedly, but having beaten Norwich City and drawn with financially crippled Southampton in recent weeks, the walls are certainly starting to close in on the opposition when they arrive at the Seaside.
Argyle will now feel the pressure of this wall of Tangerine surrounding them, as they try and bounce-back after a 2-1 defeat to Burnley at Home Park in their previous fixture.
Four points is the gap between Blackpool (18th) and Argyle (21st) going into tomorrow afternoon's game.
'Pool's new loan signing Lee Hughes;
'I'm pleased to be back in the Championship and I'm glad that Blackpool wanted me. I'm looking forward to my time here'
'I played in this league for a number of years so I know what it's all about.'
'You never lose your touch for scoring goals - that's the main thing. I've got 18 league goals this season so there's no reason why I can't be looking for 20 goals plus now.'
Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock;
'Our standards against the teams in the same area as us has been shocking and it's been down to our mental approach'
'The mentality of holding on to what we've got has cost us dearly against these teams.'
'We've got to be on the front-foot straight away. The first-goal will be a key factor to the game.'
Blackpool Team News:
Having signed a new deal with the club, Gary Taylor-Fletcher misses out through injury and will undergo surgery on Monday to remedy the minor problem.
Ben Burgess has come on well in training after his knee troubles and could make the bench, while David Vaughan has overcome his calf strain and could start in the place of Alan Mahon who is a doubt.
Charlie Adam should be fit, while Danny Coid won't risk his hamstring and will miss the game. Matt Gilks will likely regain his place on the bench after shrugging off his elbow injury.
Brett Ormerod will be battling with Lee Hughes for a starting place alongside DJ Campbell in attack, with the on-loan Oldham striker guaranteed to make his 'Pool debut.
Simon Walton is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Player to watch: Keith Southern
For the battle in the centre of midfield, there is no other 'Pool player better suited for that purpose than 'Gnashers'.
His partnership with Charlie Adam continues to grow by the game and it will be key that the two of them play to the best of their abilities to bring the strikers into the game.
Watch out for those long-range shots from Southern, too.
Plymouth Argyle Team News:
Mat Doumbe and Emile Mpenza are both out while Carl Fletcher will return in midfield.
David McNamee and Chris Barker return and new Cameroon striker Rudi Douala will be included in the squad.
Player to watch: Rudi Douala
The Cameroon international striker is somewhat of an unknown commodity in The Championship and thus, will have to be watched very closely should he start - and assuming he comes off the bench.
He scored in a mid-week reserves fixture against Cheltenham and Manager Paul Sturrock was full of praise for the front-man afterwards, stating that he isn't afraid to shoot...from anywhere! Barker, Edwards et al take note!
Match Facts & Stats
The previous fixture between the two sides finished in a 2-1 victory at Home Park - who can forget the more than impressive debut of Liam Dickinson coming off the bench and scoring 2 goals to pull the 'Pool back from 1-0 down in the last 20 minutes of the game!
Last season's tie at Bloomfield Road - the last meeting in the North West between the two sides - finished in a 0-0 stalemate. There's no doubting that a result like that would be more welcomed by Plymouth than a defeat...but if safety is to be assured before the final home game of the season against another struggling side, Nottingham Forest, then a victory is certainly going to be essential!
Blackpool 1-0 Plymouth
vs Pre*ton North End, April 11th, 1pm (A).