After two home games last week, against Nottingham Forest and Bristol City, we are back on the road tomorrow for the relatively short journey to Blackpool.

It's the last of our six Lancashire derbies this season. We've done OK in the previous five, winning two, drawing two and losing just the one against Bolton at the Reebok, and that after David Edgar had given us the lead.

Although we are not safe from the threat of relegation in this craziest of seasons there is no doubt that the welcome three points picked up against Bristol City last week have definitely eased the nerves around the Turf Moor stands.

If the unthinkable was to happen, and we were somehow to go down, then it would, even if we didn't win another point, create a record for the highest number of points every for a relegated club.

I said last week that I thought we just needed one win. We got it, but it would be nice to get another just to be safe. The sooner we are then the sooner we can put this difficult season to bed and get on with planning for another.

Sam Vokes is looking to get past 60 points

Another couple of wins would see us reach 60 points. We'd 30 at the half way stage and it's an incredible 13 seasons since we last bettered the half way total by the end of the season.

It's a target and striker Sam Vokes, who has won his place back in the team in the last couple of games after coming on and getting the equaliser at Watford, has set an even higher target of trying to beat last season's total of 62 points.

"A big one for us is to probably build on last season's total," Vokes said. "We got to 62 points, so if we could go past that mark that would be a step forward for the club and we can build from there.

"We are on that good little run, we've been playing well and only lost one in seven, so we look forward to going to Blackpool."

Vokes, like everyone else, shares a concern about the Bloomfield Road pitch right now. To be honest it is so bad you get the idea that marking a pitch out between the Central and South piers might be a better idea, probably would have less sand.

It's a shocker, it's the worst we'll play on all season, even worse than the mess we found at Charlton recently. It shows how much we are spoiled now with the pitch we had put in place in the summer of 2010. It's easy to have short memories but ours had been in poor condition for a number of years prior to that.

I'm expecting Vokes to keep his place and maybe there will be just the one change to the side that won last week. Joseph Mills came in for that one but he didn't have the best of games and I'd expected Danny Lafferty to come back in. But, Ben Mee has been declared fit having missed just the one game and I'd be surprised if he didn't come straight back into the team.

We could line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas, Sam Vokes, Charlie Austin. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Luke O'Neill, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Joseph Mills, Brian Stock, Marvin Bartley, Alex Kačaniklić, Danny Ings, Martin Paterson.

If we think we've had a bit of upheaval this season then it's nothing like what's happened at Blackpool this season.

Like us, they were forced to look for another manager when the one they had walked out but, unlike us, they've had to do it twice.

It had become increasingly obvious that Ian Holloway was going to go and he eventually did. moving to Crystal Palace to replace Bolton bound Dougie Freedman.

They went for Michael Appleton from Portsmouth but that all descended into farce. He arrived on 7th November, settled in, moaned a bit and then walked out on 11th January to become manager of Lancashire's joke club Blackburn.

To save you doing the maths, that's 65 days. He bettered that at Blackburn, managing them for 67 days before getting the sack from Shebby.

That must have been a decision that made Karl Oyston and his board smile. They got compensation for a manager who was out of work himself not much more than two months later.

They took their time on the second occasion, just over a month in fact, before appointing one of the player's dads. Like a lot of dads he'd been watching his lad play all season so knew a bit about them.

That is of course Paul Ince, who himself has managed at Blackburn, back in the days when there wasn't a chicken in sight on the pitch.

Right now Ince's team are down in 18th place, but such is the division that they are only three points behind us and we're 11th. They would go above us on goal difference if they beat us tomorrow.

They are without Isaiah Osbourne for this one. He was sent off in their draw at Forest last Saturday. Blackpool appealed but the FA upheld the decision by referee Craig Pawson, the referee who had a nightmare in our home game against Millwall this season.

Osbourne out but Barry Ferguson is back having completed his suspension and Gary McKenzie is expected to be able to continue despite taking a knock last week. Blackpool could also see a return from injury for Gary Taylor-Fletcher who might make the bench.

Their expected team is: 1. Matt Gilks, 15. Alex Baptiste, 42. Kirk Broadfoot, 39. Gary McKenzie, 3. Stephen Crainey, 16. Barry Ferguson, 14. Ludovic Sylvestre, 17. Chris Basham, 7. Matt Phillips, 40. Nathan Delfouneso, 11. Tom Ince. Subs from: 21. Mark Halstead, 5. Neal Eardley, 10. Elliot Grandin, 31. Angel Martinez, 20. Craig Cathcart, 33. Robert Harris, 41. Nathan Eccleston, 12. Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

 

Last Time We Were There

Our 2011/12 season visit to Blackpool was one to forget as we went down 4-0 which was our heaviest defeat of the season.

When we went in at half time with a one goal deficit it was hard to imagine what was going to happen. We'd been the better side and were very unfortunate not to be in front, never mind behind, but the second half was shambolic and by the time it was all over it could have been even worse.

Joe Jackson came on as a late substitute

With Chris McCann selected to play off striker Charlie Austin it looked a strange sort of line up and formation but we troubled Blackpool in the first half.

That was until just over twenty minutes in when they won a free kick 30 yards out. A short kick to Stephen Dobbie and he rifled it home.

I was still confident at half time that we'd go on and win it. That confidence drained two minutes after the restart when Blackpool went two up after a double mistake from David Edgar and Danny Lafferty.

Just past the hour it was three and this was a personal disaster for Lee Grant. Kieran Trippier was poor but even so, Stephen Crainey's effort went straight through the goalkeeper's hands.

Number four came from Nouha Dicko. With Trippier and most of the Burnley fans claiming for a clear offside he was allowed to go through and score. Television pictures later showed the assistant referee's decision to allow Dicko to go to be a correct one.

Just before the end, Joe Jackson was introduced as a substitute for a debut, but 4-0 it ended. The first half was excellent but the second half had been horrible.

The teams were;

Blackpool: Matt Gilks, Neal Eardley, Alex Baptiste, Ian Evatt, Stephen Crainey, Barry Ferguson, Angel Martinez, Stephen Dobbie (Ludovic Sylvestre 70), Matt Phillips (Kevin Phillips 77), Tom Ince, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Nouha Dicko 57). Subs not used: Robert Harris, Lomana Tresor Lua Lua.

Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley (Danny Ings 58), Dean Marney, Junior Stanislas (Joe Jackson 88), Chris McCann, Charlie Austin (Josh McQuoid 88). Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Cameron Howieson.

 

Previous Games against Blackpool

 

Last 20 Years
Season Comp Ven Res Att  Scorers
1992/93 Division 2 a 3-1 7,942 Harper, Farrell, Penney
  Autoglass a 3-1 2,979 Conroy(2), Farrell
  Division 2 h 2-2 12,475 Heath, Francis
1993/94 Division 2 h 3-1 18,165 Farrell, Russell, Francis
    a 2-1 7,956 Eyres, Francis
1995/96 Division 2 h 0-1 10,082  
    a 1-3 8,941 Nogan
1996/97 Division 2 h 2-0 13,599 Gleghorn, Nogan
    a 3-1 7,331 Barnes(3)
1997/98 Division 2 a 1-2 7,429 Creaney
    h 1-2 13,413 Payton
1998/99 Division 2 h 1-0 11,925 Payton(pen)
    a 2-0 5,658 Payton, Little
1999/2000 Division 2 h 1-0 12,898 Mellon
    a 1-1 8,029 Branch
2002/03 League Cup h 3-0 7,448 West, Papadopoulos(2)
2007/08 Championship h 2-2 16,843 Jones, Akinbiyi
    a 0-3 9,599  
2008/09 Championship h 2-0 13,752 Paterson, Alexander(pen)
    a 1-0 7,679 Kalvenes
2011/12 Championship h 3-1 15,614 Austin, Wallace, Bartley
    a 0-4 14,141  
2012/13 Championship h 1-0 12,925 Austin

 

Click HERE to see all previous results against Blackpool