Gaffer Hoping For Home Turnaround
Michael Appleton believes that a change in home fortunes for his side is just around the corner, as they prepare for tomorrows visit of Blackburn Rovers.
Despite a run of only one defeat in their last ten, The Seasiders are without a win at home since September. The Blackpool manager however feels he has seen more than enough in his time in charge to give him confidence that that particular stat will soon be rectified.
“I could nitpick and say ‘We don’t do this well’ or ‘We haven’t done this well enough’, but ultimately I think it is a matter of time,” Appleton said.
“I certainly don’t think it’s anything to do with the way that we’re playing. If the players give a decent performance on Saturday, hopefully the result will follow.
“You can come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons, but we just need to continue trying to do the right thing. Obviously keeping a clean sheet would give us an opportunity to do it, but from our point of view we will continue trying to do the things we do every day in training.”
Blackburn have had their own issues with form of late, suffering three consecutive defeats at home under new manager Henning Berg.
They've been a different proposition on the road though this season, and the Blackpool boss believes that tomorrows opponents will be desperate to bounce back after recent losses.
“I think it probably makes it an even more dangerous game to be honest with you. Obviously after a 4-1 defeat at home to Cardiff, they’ll probably be delighted to get away from Ewood Park, and their form away from home has been much better than it is at home. They’ve got plenty of quality in the squad because they’ve built a side to get them back in the Premier League.”
At least one change from last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace is guaranteed, after Stephen Crainey picked up a fifth booking of the season at Selhurst Park. That could mean a return to first team action for Bob Harris, who last played for Pool in the 1-1 at Barnsley in September.
“Obviously you’ve got someone in Stephen Crainey who has been a very consistent performer, so Rob’s had to be very patient.
"I think that’s how it’s got to be sometimes - you want competition for places, you want people to be ready as and when they get called upon and hopefully that’ll be the case with Rob.”
The Tangerines also received a welcome boost this week with Gary Taylor-Fletcher making a return to training after missing the last five games with a hamstring injury. While Appleton is undecided on what part (if any) Fletcher will play in tomorrow’s game, he admits that the return of the versatile 31-year-old has given a lift to everyone in the squad.
“Fletch has trained probably about three or four times, so he’ll be in the squad for Saturday. Having him back training was a big boost for everyone, whether he’s ready to start 90 minutes is probably doubtful because of the lack of training he’s had, but I think just having him on the training pitch and in the squad is going to give everyone a big lift.
"After being out for so long, I’m sure when he does get his opportunity he’ll take it with both hands.”