WHEN Blackpool tore a poor Middlesbrough side to bits earlier in the season, no-one would have predicted they’d be sitting 11 points ahead of the Seasiders by the end of December.
Tony Mowbray’s side have lost only one of their last seven games and are without doubt one of the Championship’s form sides.
They celebrate Christmas with a 1-0 win over Blackburn on Boxing Day, a result which resulted in the sacking of Rovers boss Henning Berg.
“It was a good day for us,” Mowbray admitted.
“We’ve still got 22 matches to go but we’re on the road down now. Every game now as it comes along is like another step towards what we’re trying to achieve.”
Blackpool should go into tomorrow’s clash full of confidence – you have to go back to February 1972 for the last time Pool lost away at Boro.
Jonjo Shelvey and Ludo Sylvestre scored during last season’s draw at the Riverside, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Charlie Adam in red hot form in a 3-0 win back in 2009.
Mowbray could be forced into a number of changes for tomorrow’s game, as injuries to three defenders took the shine off their Boxing Day win against Blackburn.
Lukas Jutkiewicz scored the only goal of a tense, scrappy game which saw Andre Bikey limp off to join Seb Hines and Stuart Parnaby in the treatment room.
The game also saw Josh McEachran limp off with a recurrence of an ankle strain.
They are boosted by the return of Rhys Williams, who came on at half time on Boxing Day after almost four months on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage.
Hines, meanwhile, is expected to be out for at least two weeks, as is Parnaby, who had a scan on his knee yesterday.
“Seb has got a hamstring strain,” Mowbray said.
“The good thing is Rhys has got 45 minutes under his belt. I would hope he should be OK for Blackpool.”