Blackpool or Swansea?
In the second of her spoken word meditations in as many weeks, Blackpool season-ticket holder Liz gives us an insight into her state of mind as her team approach their dramatic End Game.
Next Saturday I am supposed to be sat in an office. Working. Now, I am faced with a situation that seemed improbable – even laughable to many of my colleagues – when the rotas came out some three months ago.
That’s because my team may be involved in a first-leg play-off game in a week’s time, which could take them to the brink of the Premier League.
I’m not going to lie – should we make it to the “promised land”, then I will probably need to spend most of the summer lying in a darkened room.
It’s not totally unexpected for us Seasiders – though I’m prepared to admit I’m a little surprised – but with one game to go we’ve finally edged it into sixth spot after Swansea’s capitulation at Sheffield United.
It’s the perfect time for us to have made our move as, if I’m honest, I fancy a pair of home wins on Sunday.
It’s a remarkable achievement for the Tangerines and for Ian Holloway, who this week revealed he spent just £1.65m in the summer – a paltry figure when you consider much of it has been used for wages. And you could see what it meant to Pool fans at Peterborough on Saturday: 20 minutes after the final whistle the majority of the 1,886 travelling fans remained packed on the London Road terrace, cheering Ian Holloway through his press conference. It took police intervention to convince everyone that it was probably time to leave. We might have still been there otherwise.
And as for the noise when we realised Sheffield United had taken the lead against the Swans? That was something else. The chant of “United” swept across the stand from right to left, with Charlie Adam pumping his fists into the air, spurring the fans and his teammates on.
Ian Holloway quite rightly said post-match that we’ve achieved nothing yet – but you can sense a change in the mood. Crikey, even Sky are deigning to put one of our games on after featuring us only once all season.
The question now is, at 1pm on Sunday when we take to the pitch against Bristol City and the Swans march out to face Doncaster, will one of us bottle it?
At times, we looked a tad nervous at Peterborough but, having already scored 45 home goals, I’d back us to score in every game at Bloomfield Road. Bristol City, though, will be no walkover. Although new boss Steve Coppell won’t be in attendance, it’s inconceivable to think that he won’t be watching the game somewhere, and the Robins team will be fully aware of that.
Our major problem at the moment is Charlie Adam. One booking away from a three match ban, you can tell he’s absolutely desperate not to pick up a card and – while there’s no denying he still plays a key role and continues to deliver killer through balls – it’s put a dampener on his game. It would be heart-breaking if he led us to the play-offs only to miss out.
I’ll confess that I spent most of the game at London Road with my hands over my eyes, refreshing BBC Sport on my IPhone (no, I have no idea how I’ll cope with the play-offs should we get there). There’ll hopefully be no need for that on Sunday, because every Pool fan knows – if we’re winning, we’re there. The boot’s on the other foot for those at the Liberty Stadium – and given their modest scoring record and recent form, it’s understandable that there’s a nervous atmosphere on their main messageboard.
Personally, I think both teams will win on Sunday – I’m just hoping that we rack up a five goal lead early on to take the pressure off! I haven’t changed my shift; knowing Blackpool, there’ll be a twist in store yet.