Ferguson: Bring on Burnley

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson
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Barry Ferguson has a message for Burnley ahead of today’s Lancashire derby - bring it on.

The Seasiders play live on Sky this evening (kick-off 5.15pm) in a game with huge importance at both ends of the Championship table.

Blackpool sit just two points above the relegation zone, while Burnley need a win which would almost certainly confirmed their place in the Premier League next season.

A bumper crowd of around 16,000 is expected at Bloomfield Road today, with a huge police presence also on hand.

And despite Blackpool’s current problems, stand in boss Ferguson sounds fired up for the clash.

“We have a big chance to stop them getting promotion, and to move us away from relegation. What more could you ask for – bring it on,” he said.

“Football players should be looking forward to this sort of game.

“It’s two teams who don’t really like each other.

“We’ll definitely be up for it and I’d like to think Burnley will too.

“We will go at them all guns blazing and try to win every single ball.”

Burnley are historically one of the Seasiders’ biggest rivals, along with Preston and Bolton.

Something which hasn’t gone unnoticed on Ferguson.

And he’s used the derby aspect as motivation for his players during the build-up to this evening’s game.

He said: “It’s a local derby, if we can’t get up for that we have serious problems.

“I’ve watched Burnley four times now, they are a well organised, well drilled team. They deserve to be where they are in the League. But the boys know what way they play, we know them inside out.

“We have been through how we want them to play, I can’t do any more in terms of preparation. I’ve played in plenty of local derby games myself, that’s what football’s all about.”

Should Burnley pick up three points and Derby fail to beat Doncaster later in the evening, Burnley will be promoted to the Premier League.

Sean Dyche’s men buckled under the pressure with a shock home defeat to Huddersfield last weekend.

But Pool boss Ferguson, who’s expected to play himself, played that down.

“The pressure is on both of us,” he explained. “I’ve tried to keep the pressure off, but we can’t hide from where we are.

“It’s there in black and white the position we are in at the moment, there’s no hiding from it. It will be a good game and one which any player should want to play in.

“It’s another chance for people to show what they can do. We have to go and be positive. I’m not going to take anything away from Burnley, they are a good side.

“He’s hardly changed the side all season, he’s got them very well drilled. It’s a derby game, the past goes out the window. It’s all about who wants it the most when they go across the line.”

It’s believed Blackpool’s fans have a protest planned against chairman Karl Oyston, although the exact nature is as yet unknown. Despite that, they’ve always backed the players, and Ferguson hopes for a repeat this evening.

He said: “We need the energy off the crowd so I hope they are fully behind us.”

Pool have a number of 
injury worries ahead of 
tonight’s crucial derby clash.

Together with the long-term absentees Stephen Davies and Kirk Broadfoot, skipper Gary MacKenzie has an ankle injury with 18-year-old rookie Harrison McGahey on stand-by. Striker Ricardo Fuller also remains a doubt.