Gary Madine is ‘desperate’ to be involved this weekend as Blackpool host Sunderland, according to boss Neil Critchley.
Madine is a Geordie and is chomping at the bit to involved for his side as they take on the Magpies’ arch-rivals at Bloomfield Road.
The target man was missing during the 2-1 home defeat to relegation threatened Tranmere Rovers after sustaining an injury in the Fylde Coast derby last Saturday and Madine could make a recovery in time to face the Black Cats.
This will come as a huge boost to Critchley who could only watch on as his side struggled to hit the target against Tranmere – managing to hit the net once in 16 attempts on goal through Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Critchley confirmed that Madine was doing all he could to be involved in the game this weekend, he said: “Gary has still got an issue with his neck. We’re hoping he will train later today, if not then hopefully tomorrow.
“There’s a chance with Gary. He’s feeling a bit better and with him being a Geordie and this being Sunderland, I’m sure he’ll be doing everything he can to be part of the game on Saturday.”
Blackpool have nothing to play for this campaign but will need a couple of victories in the coming weeks to confirm their place in League One for next season as they sit 12 points clear of Tranmere, who occupy the final place in the bottom three.
They will look to get three more points up on the board as play-off chasing Sunderland come to town, who themselves are in a sticky patch of form having not won in four games, with defeats to Coventry City and Bristol Rovers, plus draws with Fleetwood Town and Gillingham.
Jonson Clarke-Harris bagged a brace on Tuesday night against the Black Cats as they fell to yet another poor performance on the road; their form away from home is what could prevent Sunderland from finishing in one of those coveted play-off spots.
Any Newcastle supporting footballer playing in League One this season will have highlighted the two clashes against Sunderland as chances to inflict more misery on the Black Cats. They have had a tricky few years following relegations from the Premier League down to League One as well as defeat at Wembley in the worst way imaginable twice last season.
Being involved would give Madine that extra spring in his step on Saturday and that could be the difference in this tight affair which could have huge implications on Sunderland’s play-off bid. Madine has shown the quality that he has during spells with clubs a lot higher in the football pyramid and will be hoping that he gets to show Sunderland those qualities on Saturday afternoon.