Opposition View: Blackpool vs Luton Town
Luton Town will be striving to keep pace with the play-off places when they visit Blackpool tomorrow afternoon.
ORH spoke to Seasiders fan Joe Atherton for a Blackpool perspective ahead of another important fixture before the World Cup-enforced break kicks in.
Tell us about your Blackpool supporting history!
I've Supported Blackpool for 32 years. My first game was a 0-0 draw with Rochdale at home in the old division 4.
Despite this, Blackpool certainly aren’t a boring team to follow. From 2000-20010 we went from League 2 to the prem and 2011-2017 all the way back down to league 2. Things are now looking up with Blackpool businessman and fan Simon Sadler in charge.
Hopefully we can stay up this season and cement ourselves as a Championship club.
2nd season back in the Championship - What was the ambition at the start of the campaign? Has that changed?
I think with Critchley leaving to be Gerrard’s tea boy (how that work out for you?) fans were naturally twitchy. The appointment of a former Preston player in Michael Appleton certainly didn’t help things.
Fans are still split on him. I think we play better football but we’re far more open at the back. Staying up will be the ultimate aim & despite some rotten performances against West Brom, Hull and Rotherham, I think we’ll be fine.
Jerry Yates has been on fire in front of goal - what should Luton fans expect from him?
Jerry is a grafter. He works himself into the ground. Constant running, pressing and tracking back. The work he does off the ball is as important as the goals he brings to the club.
I'm delighted he’s getting his rewards as if Critchley would have stayed, he’d probably have sold him to some lower league club like Cheltenham.
Big Luton connection in Charlie Patino - What have you made of his start?
Charlie Patino is the boy! He Scored against Preston and shushed them. He’s been in & out the team with rolling his ankle at QPR but had a good run of games up to illness ruled him out of Tuesday's game with West Brom and we desperately missed him.
Hopefully he will be back for our game on Saturday, along with a few other walking wounded.
What have you made of Luton’s start to the campaign?
The Championship is very tight. I don’t think there’s a Fulham that’ll run away with it this season.
I literally have a case for 6 teams for automatic and 14 for the playoffs and I’d say Luton are certainly in the top end of those 14.
Injuries won’t help. I see you’ve picked up a fair few like ourselves. Lansbury always has a good game against us so pleased he’ll be out. The Bradley injury looked horrible so you’d assume he’d be long term.
The World Cup is looking like it is coming at a good time for teams likes ourselves with limited budgets.
It’s impossible to tell how Blackpool will play from one game to the next. We’ve been awful against West Brom, Hull, Rotherham, Stoke. All teams struggling at the wrong end.
We also drew 3-3 away at Burnley when we were 3-1 down at half time. Conceded a 98th minute goal with 9 men away at Sheffield Utd to draw 3-3, seconds away from a famous win.
We’ve beaten Watford at home 3-1 and put 4 past Preston who had the best defence.
It literally depends on which Blackpool turn up. I’ll be diplomatic and go 2-2. Yates and Morris doubles.