Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean said Saturday’s clash with Lancashire rivals Blackpool is the most important game of the season.
The teams are tied on 32 points – just one point above the relegation zone, and Kean knows a positive result at Ewood Park would go a long way to staying in the top flight next season.
“When you look at the points tally of both sides, I think it is the most important game of the season so far,” Kean said.
“It is a big game because if we get the three points we will have the same amount of points as we had at this stage last season.”
“We want to finish in the top 10 and a win would put us on track for that top 10 finish.”
Defender Phil Jones, who came through a midweek run-out in the reserve team with no problems, is in contention to return from a knee ligament injury.
Kean said: “Phil Jones came through the reserves game without any problems.”
“He has been out for quite a while so it has to be a phasing in process- playing 45 minutes one game and maybe an hour in his next one.”
“Hopefully we can speak to his surgeon today and see what the risk is.”
“Elsewhere we have a couple of players who are doubts. Midfielder David Dunn has a hip muscle injury that was recovering well but has slowed up a little bit and defensive midfielder Vince Grella has a tight Achilles tendon.”
Defender Gael Givet will also be missing as he serves the first game of a two-match ban.