This Saturday sees Pool take on a struggling Millwall side at Bloomfield Road, managed by former Blackpool legend Ian Holloway.
Millwall have struggled massively this season and find themselves in 22nd place, 9 points ahead of the Tangerines. After starting the season fantastically their form has dramatically dwindled and they`re currently 21st in the form table having lost the previous three games. Ian Holloway has certainly not been able to replicate the magic he worked at his time by the seaside, not yet anyway.
Whilst Millwall are a struggling side it will undoubtedly be a though game for Blackpool. Millwall haven`t carried the attacking threat Holloway`s side usually possess, however with Pool`s defensive record this season doubts of a victory still persist.
Millwall at home is a must win game for Pool. This phrase may get thrown around too much whilst sitting bottom of the league, every game seems to be a must win game. But, there won`t be many more ‘winnable` games this season than playing a side in bad form who are also in the relegation zone at home.
9 points is an extremely large gap to bridge between now and the end of the season, not many teams who have been significantly adrift, like Pool are, at this stage in the season have come back to prevent relegation. Though this obviously doesn`t mean all hope should be lost, but it will undoubtedly be a great difficulty to survive in the Championship.
The Tangerines go into the game off the back of a narrow 1-0 defeat to top division side Aston Villa, a late Christian Benteke winner was all that split the sides. In what was a spirited performance, Pool were hopefully able to gain some confidence and belief from the match, especially after the 6-1 hammering to Bournemouth which wasn`t not too long ago (sorry to remind everyone). The side showed signs of improvement against Rotherham but couldn`t pick up the win, the side will certainly need to gain all 3 points this time however.
Manager Lee Clark may look to continue with his inclusion of younger talent, which we`ve seen in previous weeks. The likes of Dom Telford and Mark Waddington could feature. However the player list at the club is and has suffered reductions this month. Jacob Murphy, Donervon Daniels, Stuart O`Keefe and Jamie O`Hara have already gone, all of which featured heavily in league games this season. Pool will find it harder, especially without the likes of O`Hara who has been a key feature of Clark`s team, but will have to do their best despite the losses. Negotiations with O`Hara are ongoing.
However, my prediction for the game is a 2-1 win for Pool. Millwall`s form has been terrible of late and if the side can sure up at the back and use some of the attacking power they possess with the likes of Steve Davies and Dom Telford then they can come through with a win. The Seasiders will have to go on some run if they are to avoid relegation though.