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Blackpool vs. Walsall

Bloomfield Road

1st April 2006

3pm KO

Seaside trip

Defeat at Blackpool on Saturday would be no April Fool. This is a true sixpointer. With other fixtures a win would most likely pull us out of the bottom four, whilst dumping Blackpool in the relelgation places. A defeat would move Blackpool 4points clear of us. Although nothing will be settled on saturday in terms of confidence and belief it is a massive game for both clubs..........come on you saddlers.

Vital Quotes:

Most of the talk from both clubs has really been focused on injuries and the relegation situation in general. An attempt to relax some of the pressure off both teams.

Blackpools amin concern surounds top scorer John Murphy,Manager Simon Grayson told the Blackpool Gazette: 'Hopefully it's just a knock. I need my best players to be fit and available for the next seven games because there is a lot at stake.

'As far as I know, he got a whack on his neck as he fell and he just couldn't continue. Hopefully he will be fit for Walsall but it's too early to say.'

Some Blackpool sites have been talking the game up as a relegation decider, one article stated....
'So that leaves the Seasiders who now have an awful run in and I honestly believe that anything other than a win against Walsall could seal our fate. Even then I just haven't seen enough signs in the side to make me think that we'll be able to grind out results and get a two goal cushion in a game that would give us the confidence to push on for victory. And so the four to go down are MK Dons, Swindon, Hartlepool and ......(blackpool or Walsall)*

Blackpool Team News:

As mentioned above the main concern is over John Murphy, However there is unrest on the terraces at Bloomfield road. Fans have been moaning about tactics and players been played out of position and too many loan players unsettling the team spirit....sound all too familar.

The Seaside faithful want Neil Wood returned into midfield, especially for his ability at set pieces. Whilst defence is also a concern with Jason Wilcox at left back been the cause for some concern. Fans believe that Ian Morris (loan from Leeds) or Sam Stockley (loan from Colchester) better options.
Blackpool lined up in there last game a 3-1 defeat at Oldham as follows.
L Jones, S Stockley, P Clarke, M Joseph, J Wilcox (62 R Edwards) , M Bean, D Fox, K Southern, K Parker, J Murphy (45 G Williams) , I Morris (61 R Prendergast)

Subs: L Pogliacomi, R Edwards, G Williams, C Donnelly, R Prendergast

Player to watch: Keigan Parker

Whilst Keith Southern gained the MOTM award for the Oldham game. Keigan Parker is the one to watch even if it is for his dubious gamemanship as seen last season and at the Bescot in December.
Read the article

Walsall Team News:

Its all if's and but's. If Andy Oakes is fit he will be in goal. If Mark Wright and Grant Smith are fit they might be in the team.Kevin James is doubtful and Ishmel Demontagnac suspended so we could be lacking the pace on the right wing which would have caused them (especially Jason Wilcox) some problems. The return of Simon Osborn and Pablo Mills gives KB options. Whilst the competition in the central midfield means Keates or Leary may miss out. Out wide will depend on fitness with Ishmal out, James very doubtful and a question mark against Wright and Smith, Keates may push out wide or even Devlin more wider.
Up front Steve Claridge should make his debut, He will be partnered by Devlin, or Timms, but goals in the reserves by Barrowman and Fitzgerrald have pushed thm forward again whilst a good performance by Constable means he is hoping to improve on last weeks sub appearence.

Player to watch: Andy Oakes

The hero with good performances at Swansea and Tranmere followed by a confidence sapping nightmere against Yeovil, was followed by injury and forcing Rene Gilmartin between the sticks. If Andy Oakes doesn't make this match I can't see Rene been up to the task. If Andy does make it we need the fans to get behind him not get at him or the Yeovil performance may come back to haunt us.

Match Facts & Stats

Blackpools last six

Oldham 3 - 1 Blackpool
Bradford 1 - 0 Blackpool
Blackpool 1 - 0 Port Vale
Blackpool 0 - 0 Rotherham
Blackpool 2 - 0 Yeovil
Bournemouth 1 - 1 Blackpool
So with recent away results for us reading win against Tranmere, and draws at Swansea,Southend and Colchester we should be able to complete a double adding to the December victory at Bescot.
Unfortunatly in these games the form book goes out of the window and it will be who wants it more, especially as the poor pitch at Bloomfield Road combined with the poor weather forecast(wind and rain) means a poor match is in prospect.

Ref Watch:

Mr R J Beeby asissted by a curry coking, sorry Mr Cook and Mr Curry. Mr Beeby is from Northamptonshire Whilst we have not had the pleasure of Mr Beeby this season he has managed 60 yellow cards and six red cards in his 24 games this year. Highlights this year include 4 reds in the Burnley v Millwall game in November and sending off the Barnet goalkeeper after a couplee of minutes in the Man Utd Barnet cup game. Also seven yellows in one game when Plymouth played Crystal palace. Mr Beeby on a wet mud patch in a crunch game with the wind blowing could prove interesting, a bit of a loose cannon to say the least...oh yes he was the one who sent James Walker off at Millwall and made some decissions which helped shape that relelgation season.

Match Prediction:

The pitchwhich can only be described as diabolical will be a factor, flowing football may be impossible, so it will be down to who wants it more....perpare for battle, Mr Beeby may have a say as well, a dangerous mix with Mr Parker which may go against us.

Next Fixtures:

Crunch Time
Bristol City Home Sat 8th April 3pm
Bournemouth Home Tues 11th April 7-45pm
Port Vale Home Sat 15th April 3pm

The journalist

Writer: Jorge's Jottings Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 30 2006

Time: 2:03PM


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