Premier League preview: Wolves v Blackpool

With 11 league games left, Mick McCarthy and Ian Holloway know how vital Saturday’s match at Molineux is to both clubs.

Wolves are bottom of the table on 25 points with a poor record against their fellow relegation strugglers.

Blackpool, meanwhile, are 12th with 32 points having collected an impressive five away wins this season, one more than at Bloomfield Road.

Wolves have little margin for error remaining as they prepare to meet a Blackpool side whose survival nerves were eased considerably by their emphatic 3-1 defeat of Spurs.

Skipper Karl Henry knows full well the importance of the Molineux showdown and has warned the Tangerines to be aware of more surprises in store from set-pieces in the survival run-in.

Henry played an integral role in Jamie O’Hara’s super strike at The Hawthorns from a free-kick that caught out Albion and earned Wolves a point.

Henry was responsible for organising the manoeuvre that ended with O’Hara scoring his first goal for the club ? and the midfielder says there are more tricks up the Midlands side’s sleeve which could bring precious reward in the battle for points.

“We are always looking to try something a bit different and I did explain to Jamie how the free-kick worked,” Henry told the Wolverhampton Express and Star.

“In recent weeks when we’ve had free-kicks around the box we’ve maybe not been creative enough but we have got some in our locker.”

Henry will be hoping for more surprises against Blackpool whose shock defeat of top-four challengers Spurs dampened Wolves’ hopes of a double dividend at Molineux ? a victory that would drag their opponents deep into relegation trouble.

But it has not changed the importance of a Wolves win which Henry accepts, saying: “Blackpool play a very open game and in doing so it might be that there are gaps at the back which we have to capitalise on, especially when we are playing at home.”

“We need to force the issue and be on the front foot. We need to start the game quickly like we did at West Brom.”

“We need to produce the same sort of start against Blackpool and try and gain the initiative as early as possible.”
Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam will miss the next two games after picking up his 10th booking of the season for a late foul on Spurs defender Michael Dawson.

But Holloway put aside Adam’s absence to lavish praise on veteran striker Brett Ormerod who became the first Blackpool player to score in all four divisions when he scored the third against Spurs.

Ormerod, 34, has been at the club for 14 years, an achievement that has impressed Holloway.

“I don’t think there’s a player that I’ve ever managed that I’m prouder of or more pleased for than Brett Ormerod,” Holloway said.

“He’s fantastic and he’s a credit to everybody, I’m delighted for him, it’s a monkey off his back, nobody else has ever done it and I don’t think anybody else ever will.”

The Tangerines’ boss also suggested that his policy of rotation was working and that impressive performances for the reserves would be rewarded with first team opportunities.

“If you play well in my reserves and score in my reserves then I’m going to put you in my first team,” he said.

“My other lads have got to look at that and use it as an incentive to get in the side because if they do play well then they will get an opportunity, the reserves are playing again tonight and I’ll be watching that ahead of Saturday’s game.”

“The result (against Spurs) sets us up well for the final push, the points that we’ve amassed now would have kept us up last season and this year is a lot tougher.”

 


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