Thursday 23 November 2017

'Win or bust' for Blackpool with United showdown to seal their fate

Blackpool 4
Bolton 3

Graham Chase

Blackpool will enter the final weekend of the season in the relegation zone, hoping for help elsewhere and potentially having to win convincingly at champions Manchester United to stay in the Premier League, and the size of their task is further underlined by the fact that of Saturday's starting line-up, only DJ Campbell has ever played at Old Trafford.

Blackpool's last relegation from the top flight was sealed with defeat to United 40 years ago and no matter what team Alex Ferguson sends out six days before the Champions League final, Ian Holloway's side seem only slightly more likely to stay up than when they sealed a surprise promotion through the play-offs last summer.

"It's a game we have to win, and it's one that doesn't mean as much to United, so maybe that will work in our favour," said Campbell, who lost 3-0 with Birmingham at Old Trafford five years ago.

"There are no grey areas for us -- it's black and white, win or go down. We've been punching above our weight all season, so why not once more?"

A team that has conceded an average of two goals a game will certainly have to tighten up for that to become a reality but they have already proved that they can hurt United, leading 2-0 at Bloomfield Road in January, only to concede three late goals.

On Saturday, Blackpool traded six goals with Bolton before Scotland international Charlie Adam thumped in a decisive fourth for just their second win in 17 games. Holloway is still bristling at Alan Shearer's claims that Adam might have missed his opportunity for a big move in the January transfer window.

"The other week he said he hoped his chance hadn't passed him by," Holloway said. "Get stuffed, what are you on about? What are you talking about? The kid's fantastic and you're telling me they're not going to snap him up? He'll fall in the river like a sardine and they'll gobble him up, if that's what Mr Cantona meant all those years ago." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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