View From t'other Side: Blackpool v Barnsley

Last updated : 12 September 2008 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)

How do you evaluate Blackpool's start to the season? Its been a pretty stuttering start for both sides.

The BBC once remarked that Blackpool's residence in the Championship would last about as long as a sandcastle on the beach. Despite being bookies favourites for the drop yet again the Seasiders currently lie in 15th spot and once again are proving the pundits wrong. An injury time winner for Bristol City agonisingly denied Pool what would have been a well earned opening day point. This was followed by a disappointing first round exit in the Carling Cup to Macclesfield with the Seasiders fielding a strong albeit much changed squad. However, a deserved draw away at Norwich City were the first signs that Grayson's newly built side were beginning to gel on the pitch. Despite an ominous sounding 3-1 defeat to a strong Blades side Blackpool fans were pleased with the overall performance a controversial penalty swinging the game eventually in United's favour. It was widely acknowledged after the Sky televised game against the Saints that Grayson's experienced and hard working side fully deserved the points at St Mary's following their 1-0 win which was notable for the absence of remarks such as "relegation strugglers" being mentioned in the same breath.

There was a bit of controversy at Blackpool over the summer with star players being sold and ticket prices being hiked up. Are the fans still behind the chairman?

The majority of fans back the Chairman despite the loss of two star players that many figured were the only reason Blackpool survived their first season back in the Championship. The contracts allowed the players to leave once an interested club triggered a set amount but despite this setback many realise we were lucky to have had them in a Tangerine shirt at all last season. Indeed the quality of players since brought to Bloomfield Road - 14 at the last count are considered much better quality and equipped for life in the Championship. Whilst the hike in prices has had minimal effect on Season ticket sales the effect on match day sales has yet to be seen but many expect numbers to be well down.

Any sign of your stadium being finished in the near future??!

Recently voted the worst ground in the Championship the announcement of the investment by the club in the South East and South Stand development is considered a much needed move in these uncertain financial times and one which fans were increasingly growing concerned with. The news that away fans will be accommodated in the North stand (when the East stand is full) on completion of the South will also give our visitors supporters some decent facilities. It has taken 8 years to get where we are today some clubs have taken far longer others have seemingly moved instantaneously into new stadiums, Blackpool have managed to redevelop whilst still being one of the few clubs which remain solvent in the League.

Its been 11 meetings since Blackpool have beaten Barnsley? How confident are you that will change Saturday?

I think its worth pointing out I was at Oakwell when the Seasiders thumped the Tykes 4-1 in the FA Cup in November 2002 which was just about the high point of recent games for Seasider fans in our fixtures against Barnsley. Whilst you can't dismiss the abysmal set of results we've had against the Tykes I can't help feeling that following the result against the Saints that we can go out and at least get a point at home to yourselves if not more. I would be genuinely surprised if we are totally played off the park by yourselves but hey this is the Championship!

Daniel Nardiello signed for you in the summer and a few rumours are saying he could be fit to make his debut Saturday. In two spells at Barnsley he became a hero. Are you expecting big things from him?

We haven't yet seen anything from Nardiello who came to the seaside on the back of our Latvian international Kaspars Gorkss transfer to QPR. I'm sure he may turn out to be a useful addition to the squad if Grayson can get the best out of him but if the current two strikers continue to perform well it could be a wait.

Who else should we be wary of in the Blackpool side?

Ben Burgess can be handful in any Division and with Steve Kabba alongside who caused the Saints a lot of trouble its a promising developing partnership. We may also have the highly rated Rangers winger Alan Gow making his debut and Summer signing Rob Edwards from Wolves who has been superb at the back

Who are you worried about in the Barnsley side?

As Martin Devaney was a Grayson target pre-season although the clubs could not agree a fee between them I'll be interested to see how he performs on Saturday.

Score Prediction for Saturday?

I never get these correct on these Q&A articles so if I say a 2-1 win for Pool it will go pear shaped as usual!

How do you think both teams will fare this season and where do you think both sides will finish?

Well it could be a long old season for both clubs but sounds like we've both plenty to be optimistic about and no-one got relegated in September lets just hope we are still here in the Championship to exchange views again next season!

For my views click here