Gaffers battle as Burnley host Blackpool
October 29, 2011
With Preston now in the lower echelons of the Football League, a trip to Burnley is the closest thing to a derby Blackpool fans will get in the Championship.
The Seasiders are searching for their first win at Turf Moor since 1998 and they will try to do it with inconsistent recent form.
Inconsistent can also be used to describe the hosts who have mixed impressive wins over Nottingham Forest and Derby with calamitous results such as the 2-0 defeat at Barnsley last week.
The recent swings in performances has led to Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Keith Southern to come out in the press and back manager Ian Holloway.
A proportion of the Pool support are beginning to question Ollie's methods and selections but were served a timely reminder by the aforementioned players and Chairman Karl Oyston about what a job the gaffer has done in his spell at Bloomfield Road.
Clarets fans are in a similar boat, with Radio Lancashire constantly fielding calls from supporters who are unhappy with Eddie Howe's team choices and asking whether he is too young to take hold of a second flight club.
Whatever the outcome, the game - live on Sky - provides a perfect opportunity for either manager to remind their respective sets of supporters what they're about.
Expect Blackpool to go for it.
Keith Southern remarks that he never reads messageboards (hi Keith!): 'If the manager wants to read messageboards, that is completely his decision but it isn't something I'd do.
'You manage a football club how you see fit. You make decisions, big decisions, and you are paid to do that.
'Nobody should be critical of the manager for what he has done at this football club.
'I think it is an annoyance if you listen to outside influences, to people who have nothing better to do with their time than make silly remarks.'
Gary Taylor-Fletcher added: 'I have felt negativity. There are quite a few people giving stick and the chairman is quite right to come out and back the manager.
'What the manager has done for the club has been fantastic.
'The turnaround over the last few years - getting back to the Championship for the first time in 30 years, then back to the top flight after 40 - means the expectations have risen quite a bit and we've all got to deal with that.'
Burnley manager Eddie Howe: 'I don't think there's any fear of playing at home. Things can change so quickly.
'If you get an early goal, for example, there'll be no problem.
'The fans can certainly help in that respect by really getting behind the players in the first minute, and sticking with us through any bad patches, because, ultimately, you can't dominate a game for 90 minutes. The Forest game, where we had a great start, you could tell it was going to be a special night by the feeling within the ground.
'We want to make it as difficult as we can for Blackpool, I'm sure they'll have good numbers travelling with them as well.'
Burnley Team News:
Michael Duff is back in full training after a long lay-off but it should be too early for him to feature.
Martin Paterson is still out, and after a rumbling of discontent over recent performances, Keith Tracey could drop to the bench.
Player to watch: Jay Rodriguez
The 22-year-old striker has been showing promise for a while and is now converting that into goals and performances.
He's hit eight in 16 appearances this term (four against Burton Albion).
Blackpool Team News:
It's always extremely difficult to read Ian Holloway's mind, but expect Ian Evatt to be reintroduced to the centre of defence for no other reason than it's a derby fixture.
That could see Alex Baptiste move to right back and Neal Eardley drop to the bench.
Tom Ince should start again after being inexplicably dragged off during the defeat to Forest on Saturday.
Player to watch: Kevin Phillips
Phillips says he's happy with his tally of six in the league so far, but the front man should really have had more.
He is scoring wonderful goals from outside the box but was signed for his poaching instincts. They've deserted him of late and it's only a matter of time before it clicks back into place.
Match Facts & Stats
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Wednesday November 2, 2011
Leeds Utd (A)