March 31, 2021

The run-in

The run-in

OK no point in looking back at where we might have been if we’d have had a better start to the season or had we not lost points at home against eminently winnable opposition such as Wimbledon & Plymouth…we are where we are and I’d like to think that if any Blackpool fan said “I’ll take being in the play-offs” with 11 games to go then most of us would have taken that….

The League One table is incredibly congested from 4th to 15th and there’s a whole lot of football to play between Easter weekend and the end of the season so it is all up for grabs. But what about the Seasiders...? Well in true manager cliché style – I’m taking one game at the time so here goes:

Swindon away – Swindon have won their past 2 games vs Bristol Rovers & Fleetwood but prior to that lost to sides higher up in the table and I see this as one of the remaining games that we’ll have earmarked as a 3 pointer. Having seen them play abysmally against Gillingham recently I think that despite the last 2 results we’ll go there with fresh legs and ambitions of three points. Prediction – WIN

Gillingham home – Gills are a good side and in Vadiane Oliver have a real threat up front. Gills drew with table topping Hull last weekend and beat Lincoln recently too. With the additional few days rest (Gills played Wednesday night), I see this as a game that we can’t afford to lose but will find it incredibly tough against the master of shithousery Steve Evans. Prediction – DRAW

Lincoln away – despite Lincoln’s top 6 position, their recent form has been very inconsistent and having watched them on SKY vs Oxford this was proven. They look in need of some impetus from somewhere to kick start their results. I’m not sure Michael Appleton has the charisma to inject that into their squad. With Covid also potentially impacting their squad this is one that we should be confident of winning and gaining revenge for the debacle at home earlier in the season. Prediction – WIN

Accrington home – Accrington’s smaller squad has seemingly put paid to their play off ambitions but with ex-Pool player Dion Charles in the line up they have a scoring chance but the loss of Colby Bishop amongst others has really hindered Accy recently. Prediction – WIN

Sunderland home – Sunderland are a good team and have Aiden McGeady pulling the strings in midfield and Charlie Wyke banging them in. We’ll have to be on top of our game if we are to get anything from this game but if I’m honest I think Sunderland are (based purely on recent form) the best team in the division. Prediction – LOSS

Rochdale away – Rochdale gave us a good game at home and it’s probably a mystery why they’re still in the bottom four…actually it’s not, they can’t defend!! They’re good going forward but it’s their defence that is too easily breached and I’d like to think we’ll have enough to get the maximum points from Spotland. Prediction – WIN

Shrewsbury home – this is the sort of game I’d put in the Plymouth & Wimbeldon bracket. One we should win but one I can equally see us slip up with. The Shrews have Covid-stricken manager Steve Cotterill at the helm and I’m sure that the players are giving their all for him in such circumstances. Could be a frustrating one this. Prediction - DRAW

Sunderland away – no reason for earlier comments to have changed in the space of 10 days!! Prediction – LOSS 

Northampton away – seem to have picked up a wee bit since Keith Curle’s departure and have beaten Portsmouth & Plymouth recently, prior to that results were poor and prior to facing the Seasiders, The Cobblers have a really tough looking set of fixtures that could put them back into the bottom four which will mean they will be fighting for their League One lives and therefore makes them dangerous. However, we’re away from home!! Prediction – WIN

Doncaster home – Donny have slipped up recently and there’s a lot of games to play prior to this fixture. I see this one as the one we could need to win to secure a play-off place but this could equally apply to Doncaster. Depending on other results and where both teams sit in the table we could see something that may suit both sides! Prediction – DRAW

Bristol Rovers home – the last game of the season and if Joey Barton was still in charge of The Gas then we’d all love to see us send him down to League Two I’m sure! However, I hope they’ve gone at that point with nothing to play for! We may need to win to secure a play-off position of course and if we’re securely in the play offs it will be interesting to see if we rest anyone…or if we’re nowhere near the play offs maybe we’ll see a glimpse of the future younger players….? Prediction - WIN

So to recap my predictions:

Swindon (a) - WIN
Gillingham (h) - DRAW
Lincoln (a) - WIN
Accrington (h) - WIN
Sunderland (h) - LOSS
Rochdale (a) - WIN
Shrewsbury (h) - DRAW
Sunderland (a) - LOSS
Northampton (a) - WIN
Doncaster (h) - DRAW
Bristol Rovers (h) - WIN

Going up?

That gives us 6 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses…finishing on 78 points…..will that be enough??? Who knows but it is in our hands, lots of games to play and as we know injuries could have an impact not just on us but on all those around us. If we can get players back rather than lose more then we’ve every chance and as we’ve seen we can beat the so called better sides so bring on Peterborough in the play-off final!