Essential reading on this weekend's opponents
Nickname: The Seasiders
Manager: Lee Clark
Ground: Bloomfield Road
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 254 miles (4 hours 36 minutes)
Two home wins in recent weeks have given Blackpool some light at the end of the tunnel in an extremely challenging season.
The Seasiders are still rooted to the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship but victories over Millwall and Brighton & Hove Albion last month mean the gap to safety sits at nine points.
That represents half of the matches the strugglers have won all season, however, which is a stat that illustrates their plight, as Blackpool Gazette reporter William Watt explains.
“This season’s problems were there for all to see at the very start of the summer sadly: Blackpool returned to pre-season training with just six players,” he said.
“It isn't impossible to turn it around but when you consider they've only won four games all season you realise what a difficult job it will be.
“If they can get a run of a few decent results together, you never know.”
This is Blackpool’s fourth consecutive season in the division, but they’re a club with a rich history. Their finest hour came in 1953 when, inspired by Sir Stanley Matthews, they won the FA Cup with a 4-3 triumph over Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.
They spent one memorable season in the Premier League in 2010-11 under the guidance of Ian Holloway, doing the double over Liverpool but eventually succumbing to relegation.
Blackpool have one former Norwich City player in their ranks; goalkeeper Joe Lewis (2003-08), who joined the club on loan from Cardiff City in the summer.
Lee Clark joined Blackpool at the end of October – just ten days after being sacked by their Sky Bet Championship rivals Birmingham City.
He has overseen a slight incline in the Seasiders’ fortunes and Watt believes ex-Canaries coach has done a decent job under the current circumstances.
“Whatever happens this season, it cannot in any way be blamed on Lee Clark,” he added.
“He took over a total mess on and off the field and if he did manage to keep Blackpool up would be the manager of the century. He's dealt with the issues with dignity so far.”
A tenacious midfielder as a player, Clark made his name at local team Newcastle United before moving to rivals Sunderland in 1997. He switched to Fulham before returning to the Magpies to finish his career.
He was named first-team coach when Glenn Roeder took the manager’s job at Newcastle in 2006, and he followed Roeder to Carrow Road in November 2007 as assistant boss.
Huddersfield Town offered him the chance to take the reins in 2008 and his four-year spell with the Terriers was generally successful, reaching the League One play-offs twice, but he was ultimately sacked in February 2012 and joined Birmingham that summer.
Goalkeepers: Joe Lewis, Elliott Parish.
Defenders: Niall Maher, Peter Clarke, Joel Dielna, Charles Dunne, David Ferguson, Jeffrey Rentmeister, Tony McMahon, Grant Hall, Nyron Nosworthy, Andre Blackman, Darren O’Dea.
Midfielders: David Perkins, Tomasz Cywka, Andrea Orlandi, Formose Mendy, Connor Oliver, Jose Cubero, Jamie O’Hara, Alex Henshall.
Forwards: Steven Davies, Nathan Delfouneso, Nile Ranger, Tom Barkhuizen, Saer Sene, Islam Feruz.
NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Blackpool, Saturday February 7, 3pm
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