It doesn’t feel as if there is a game on tomorrow. The transfer window that overshadowed Tuesday’s win against Coventry City and then the ensuing – and unfounded – rumours about a player signing the day later have taken up supporters’ time online.
But the important stuff begins again as Blackpool travel to Cardiff City in a game that could define their season.
The Seasiders are five points behind the Bluebirds and the recent resurgence of Ian Holloway’s side has seen them become genuine contenders for the top two seemingly overnight.
However, Pool come up against Malky Mackay’s City who have won nine of their 13 games at home, whilst the away team’s record away from Bloomfield Road is somewhat suspect.
Matt Gilks believes Blackpool can reach the automatic promotion spots: ‘We talk in the dressing room and a lot of us believe we can get automatic promotion, never mind the play-offs.
‘For starters, the pressure of the play-offs the other year was more than enough for a lifetime for me!
‘But looking at Southampton, they seem to be on a bit of a slide and I think we will catch them.
‘We have a good run of games coming up, and without wanting to sound cocky I just can’t see where we are going to get beaten.
‘The quality we have is terrific, and we are learning and getting better every day. So it is all very positive and everyone has a good outlook. We are very confident.’
Cardiff defender Andrew Taylor thinks that they are capable of gaining promotion despite making little inroads into the transfer market.
‘I wouldn’t say I was gutted that no big-name players have come in this week. The loan window is still open to us if the manager feels he needs to use it but I think we’ve got a strong squad here.
‘You only need to look at the times when first-team players have been forced out with injuries, the lads who have come in and played as if they’ve been playing in that position all season.
‘We’ve got a good squad and we’re doing really well, so I`d say if it’s not broke, don`t fix it.’
Cardiff City Team News:
Mark Hudson is back in contention after injury but would find it difficult to dislodge either Ben Turner of Anthony Gerrard.
Mackay has no other injury worries.
Player to watch: Peter Whittingham
The midfielder is a constant stand-out performer for Cardiff. His ability to drift from a starting position makes the former Villa man difficult to track.
His quality on the ball is unquestioned and Whittingham is a regular scorer of stunners.
Blackpool Team News:
Roman Bednar has labeled himself not fit enough to start the game, but will again be on the bench. The new signing came off the bench to change the game on Tuesday night and will look to do so again if called upon.
Ian Evatt is banned after he picked up his 10th booking of the season against Coventry, so Danny Wilson is likely to come back in.
Player to watch: Alex Baptiste
With no Ian Evatt, Baptiste could be moved across to centre half. However, if he is kept at right back, the defender will have to keep his wits about him against a Cardiff side who like to get the ball wide.
Match Facts & Stats
You can predict the game in our Matchday Forum.
Tuesday February 7, 2012.
Sheffield Wednesday (A)
FA Cup Fourth Round Replay