Friday, 11 January 2013

First Saturday Valley win of the season?

Blackpool bring their Tangerine Dream to the Valley tomorrow for what should be another even-Steven contest. Blackpool sit a point and a place above us in the Championship. However, the signs are that the timing of this fixture could give us our first Saturday home win of the season.

Having already won at Bloomfield Road, we should be heavy favourites to do the double here but, as Ipswich will testify, winning at the Valley has been easier than beating Charlton at your own place. The problem for the visitors is that things don't appear to have been going very well this week. Their fledgling new manager of nine whole weeks appears to have had his head turned by Blackburn Rovers and in spite of a non co-operation approach by his employers, he didn't run training yesterday according to an informative Tweet from Tom Ince. Contrast Michael Appleton's approach here with that of Terry Butcher who declined an offer from Barnsley to leave his Inverness Cally outpost because he has unfinished business with the Highland outfit. Barnsley might lack glamour but I can assure you it's a huge step-up from the Cally, even if Inverness has plenty more to offer than living in the industrial wasteland of the Republic of South Yorkshire.

Our home form has also nudged Chris Powell's conscious and he has spoken about the need to tackle it this week. He also found it hard to dodge the question about rumours linking us with unsettled Antony Wordsworth at Colchester, a player who has always impressed when I have seen him, and conceded that we are interested. Wordsworth is a natural footballer and at 24 has time to mature into an accomplished midfielder. I would be delighted to see him grace the Valley turf in red.

The transfer gossip also suggests we are ready to listen to offers for Bradley Wright-Phillips which would scarcely have seemed credible twelve months ago. Bradders has been unproven at Championship level and the step up was always going to be an ask but I don't think he's had enough of a chance as yet. The real problem is that he has dropped down the pecking order since the arrival of Fuller and Hulse whilst Danny Haynes has taken his chances in the games he has been fit enough to play. I think the move to tout BWP also suggests we are likely to see Rob Hulse back at the Valley in some capacity and it was interesting to hear Powell refer to him in the present tense when questioned this week. 

The trip to Ewood Park next week looks formidable given their resurgence without Henning Berg, so please, can we take the three points on offer at the Valley tomorrow? There's also a delicious opportunity, if we can win tomorrow, to follow-up with another double by beating Michael Appleton again next week if he does take the Rovers job. The unsettling influence at Rovers might also work in a perverse way given their form as a manager-less outfit.


Tony said...

Seeing the current plight of Blackpool's current managerial situation, anything but a win would warrant doubt over resting players from last weeks cup game.

Dave said...

Tony - too true. No pressure then eh?

Dave said...

Blackpool will be manager-less tomorrow as Appleton has jumped ship to Rovers. Quite what he's done to warrant three clubs indie three months but looking at photos of him, I am struck by one thing and that is what a gruelling paper-round he must have had. 37? Blimey.