Blackpool are set to face off against Stoke in what will be an intriguing match on Wednesday night, with both clubs determined to battle for a play-off spot – and Seasiders’ boss Neil Critchley has claimed to the Blackpool Gazette that their opponents will be eager to inflict some punishment on his side in the game and get back to winning ways.
The Blackpool manager has worked wonders with his side so far, leading them towards the play-off places in the second tier despite only just arriving back in the league via promotion from League One.
Stoke have equally had a good start to the current campaign and although they have fallen a few places below the top six, they are still well in contention for a potential promotion spot going forward.
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However, whereas Blackpool picked up a crucial 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at the weekend, the Potters struggled to a 3-3 draw against relegation-battling Cardiff.
It meant that while Blackpool pushed towards the top end of the table, Michael O’Neill’s men went the other way – and Seasiders’ boss Neil Critchley believes their opponents will be eager to get back to winning ways against them tonight and will be out for blood.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, he said: “If you take the five minutes of madness out of the game, you’d say Stoke are 3-0 up at home and they’re comfortable. That shows you the quality and the ability they’ve got because they’re winning the game comfortably.
“Perhaps Stoke just had a lapse of concentration on Saturday which ended up costing them, but I’m sure they’ll be more determined to put that right on Wednesday night.”
Stoke will certainly be desperate to get back to winning ways in midweek, having now not won a league game in their last five outings. If they can do it against Blackpool, then it would show that they do mean business in terms of fighting for a play-off place – and can’t be ruled out of the running just yet for promotion.
Stoke are in the middle of a slump right now and they’re a team that are more than capable of coming out of it. They have a good squad and a good manager and all they may need is a positive result to get them back on the right track.
Whether that will come against Blackpool is another question. The Seasiders are in fine form and are seeing off all comers right now – so it will not be easy for the Potters to pick up three points against them in this midweek fixture.