Yes, it's Blackpool for our last away game of the season and there has to be mention of the ten away wins. I'm sure most Burnley fans would have taken that at the start of the season, even with the ten defeats added.
|Danny Ings - his second visit to Blackpool|
We go into the last away game of the season with 32 points collected on our travels. That should really be good enough to get you very close to the play offs provided you have a decent home record.
Unfortunately ours has been disappointing but there have certainly been some good away days to remember. I missed possibly two of the best, the comebacks at Hull and West Ham, instead enjoying the moment via radio commentary, but I was there for the rest including the superb performance at Middlesbrough and more recently the Charlie Austin inspired 5-1 demolition of Portsmouth.
Today it would be good to go out with another win and get that much coveted away win number 11 to equal the club record, and I can see no reason why we can't even given Blackpool's current form.
Danny Ings is hoping for a recall after starting the Leicester game on the bench and he reflected on his last visit to the Fylde Coast. "I went to the theme park when I was a kid. It used to be massive. I don't know how big it is now but apart from that I've never been to Blackpool so I'm looking forward to it.
"I can't wait. It should be a really good game of football with both good footballing sides, and a great atmosphere."
I suspect that Ings might just have to wait a while longer for a recall and I expect the team to be the one that earned a point in a 0-0 draw at Leicester.
If that's the case we will line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley, Dean Marney, Junior Stanislas, Chris McCann, Charlie Austin. Subs: Brian Jensen, Cameron Howieson, Josh McQuoid, Joe Jackson, Danny Ings.
Our Opponents - Blackpool
Blackpool look certain to be heading for the play offs no matter what the result this afternoon and they are a team very good when it comes to the end of season knock out having previously climbed three divisions with play off successes.
They go into the game unbeaten in five games with three wins and two draws. That's taken them to fifth in the table and already more points than they won two years ago when they qualified for, and won, the play offs to win promotion to the Premier League.
They were in the bottom half of the table after they lost to us at the Turf back in October but they climbed up the week after and haven't been outside the top eight since. It's their home form in particularly that's been impressive with 43 of their 71 points coming at Bloomfield Road.
We'll be attempting to become the fourth team to win there this season with them having suffered defeats at the hands of Derby, Nottingham Forest and West Ham.
They score plenty of goals with veteran Kevin Phillips the one to watch. He's got 15 of their league goals and that's seven more than namesake Matt who is next with eight.
Kevin has been out with an injury but is expected to be named on the bench today. He'll be added to the squad that beat Leeds on Tuesday which was: Matt Gilks, Neal Eardley, Alex Baptiste, Ian Evatt, Stephen Crainey, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Barry Ferguson, Angel Martinez, Tom Ince, Matt Phillips, Lomana Tresor Lua Lua. Subs: Mark Halstead, Robert Harris, Nouha Dicko, Ludovic Sylvestre, Brett Ormerod.
Last Time We Were There
Whatever the weather and conditions are like this afternoon they certainly won't be as bad as they were on our last visit. Stuck in the overpriced Gene Kelly Stand at £27 there was snow, rain and gale force winds that almost forced the game to be abandoned.
|Christian Kalvenes got the winner|
We'd gone there having suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday three days earlier and if we were to get close to the play offs we certainly needed to start picking up some points having gained just 9 from the previous 11 games.
Owen Coyle shuffled his pack. Out went Michael Duff, Stephen Jordan, Wade Elliott and Steven Thompson; in came Christian Kalvenes, Clarke Carlisle, Chris Eagles and Kevin McDonald.
The game at times descended to the level of a farce as the appalling conditions took over and when Brian Jensen took over three minutes to take a goal kick due to the ball blowing away it looked odds on an abandonment by referee Lee Mason.
Both goalkeepers were having problems but having spoken to Coyle and Blackpool boss Tony Parkes he elected to continue. It was later revealed that it was the managers who wanted to continue with the referee keen to call it off.
The game, I suppose, could have gone either way but it was three members of our back four who should be remembered. In the centre of that defence both Carlisle and Steven Caldwell were in outstanding form and five minutes from time Kalvenes scored his only Burnley goal to win it when he slotted home a pass from Chris McCann.
It might not have been worth the £27 spent; it might have been a poor game of football mainly down to the conditions, but I don't think a single Burnley fan cared about that when the final whistle blew and we had got our promotion chase very much back on track with the 1-0 win.
The teams were;
Blackpool: Paul Rachubka, Danny Coid, Shaun Barker, Alex Baptiste, Stephen Crainey, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Roy O'Donovan 60), Charlie Adam (Graeme Owens 82), Claus Jorgensen, David Vaughan, Brett Ormerod (Nick Blackman 65), DJ Campbell. Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Keith Southern.
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Rhys Williams, Clarke Carlisle, Steven Caldwell, Christian Kalvenes, Graham Alexander, Chris Eagles, Kevin McDonald (Jay Rodriguez 84), Chris McCann, Robbie Blake (Wade Elliott 56), Martin Paterson (Steven Thompson 60). Subs not used: Diego Penny, Joey Gudjonsson.
Previous Games against Blackpool
|Last 20 Years|
|Division 4||a||2-5||8,007||Conroy, Francis|
|1992/93||Division 2||a||3-1||7,942||Harper, Farrell, Penney|
|Division 2||h||2-2||12,475||Heath, Francis|
|1993/94||Division 2||h||3-1||18,165||Farrell, Russell, Francis|
|1996/97||Division 2||h||2-0||13,599||Gleghorn, Nogan|
|2002/03||League Cup||h||3-0||7,448||West, Papadopoulos(2)|
|2011/12||Championship||h||3-1||15,614||Austin, Wallace, Bartley|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Blackpool