Matchday Thread - Derby day! | Vital Football

Matchday Thread - Derby day!


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So we hold our noses and head south to the Mecca of Mediocrity on Saturday.

Has to be said that lady luck has not been with us on our previous visits to Gloomfield. From Pondy's own goal in a match that the Lashers couldn't muster a single shot on target, Wes Burns' unbelievable miss when we were 1-0 up and coasting which would surely have brought us 3pts, the blatant cheating for an equalising penalty last year and the crowning glory of losing to a goal in 4 minutes of injury time, not once but twice!

We have the better Chairman, man-for-man the better players and the better fans. It's got to be different this time.

Only concern is our away form. We've got it badly wrong at Bolton and Coventry in recent games and we've lost Jordan Rossiter (get fit soon lad) which is a massive blow. But not going to dwell on the negatives, this is about being positive, taking the game to the Lashers and coming away with a comfortable victory.

Let's be honest, we have a first team that is better than the Lashers. Much, much better.

We have a forward line that is arguably the best in the league. We have a solid defence who are well capable of keeping the likes of Nuttall out. Easily. The concern is that we pay them too much respect and play the wrong team. Again.

So to help Joey (ha!), here's my thoughts...

CRELLIN or CAIRNS ? - its a great position to be in that we have two goalkeepers in who the fans have utmost faith. Alex has the experience but being a local lad, it will mean far much more to Billy to beat the Lashers on their own (cabbage) patch. Young James Hill played last year and acquitted himself well, I'd be happy to give Billy the nod this time.

COYLE & ANDREWS - obvious full backs. But they must stop the crosses coming in. The Lashers punt balls into the box for their big lads for fun so stopping the supply line is going to be crucial. Not Lewie's strong point but important to take any pressure off SOUTTAR & EASTHAM in the middle. It's taken Joey a ridiculously long time to realise that Ash Eastham is one of our best two central defenders but he's finally got there. These two should be our first choice for the foreseeable. Delfounso and Gnanduillet have no real quality beyond their physical presence and Nuttall can't do it all on his own.

Midfield will be where the game is won. Spearing is the Lashers most influential player and he needs putting on his backside every time the ball goes near him. If we allow him to dictate possession he could cause us problems. Rossitor's absence will be missed as he would have been perfect to close him down. Being honest, not sure we have that type of player in our squad now. SHERON would be a possibility but he's another that has been frozen out for some reason.

DEMPSEY and COUTTS are nailed on starters but alongside them we need a terrier and I'm not sure who. Biggins and Sowerby aren't that type of player. Couttsy to play his usual holding role and Kyle needs to make sure he his passing boots on.

Here's my controversial bit. I'd play MADDEN, EVANS and HUNTER up front. Up and at 'em. Ash is a little warrior that I would want alongside me in the trenches every time. No problem at all with Josh Morris but just not a match for him and this season playing Burns has been like playing with 10 men at times. Hope Joey can see this.

Paddy is the best goalscorer in League 1 and should start every game that he is fit. The reason for playing Ched is his ability to hold the ball up. Important to take the pressure off sometimes away from home at your local rivals. Ash the Hunter has pace to scare any defence and he scores goals. Kyle can pick the ball up in midfield and quickly look up for an Ash run or play a ball into Ched's feet. From there we can build attack after attack. Keep them guessing. Speed is the order of the day.

Would give Ash a free role. In fact, it might be sensible to put him on Husband. It will stop Husband's runs forward and Ash will turn him inside out when he gets the ball. Playing Ash and Ched gives us real movement up front as they can swap roles and pull the Lashers' rather average defence around. Paddy has one job to do. Stay in the middle and put his chances away when they come...and they will...several times hopefully.

Local derbies , especially ours, have been tight affairs in the past. Probably because no one wants to lose. But this time, we are so much better than them, we should go in with the mind-set of getting our noses in front early and building on it. Take the game to them and keep at them. If MK Dons can go there and win 3-0 so can we! I'm that confident. Can show them how to defend in the second half when it's time to manage the lead.

So there you go. Let's be loud and proud and make history by turning Blackpool red. Stay safe, there's usually a welcoming party of orange knuckledraggers outside the away end at the end and Plod are utterly useless in doing their job to even a basic standard. Their stewards are widely acknowledged as one of the worst in the league, looking to provoke a response at every opportunity. Just best not to engage with them, they probably can't communicate anyway. Enjoy the day.

At 5pm on Saturday Blackpool will be ours. Up the Cods!