IAN Evatt is out to erase the memories of a horror day at Arsenal and begin four games “which will define our season” with a bang.
The Seasiders might be overwhelming underdogs ahead of Sunday’s visit of the Gunners, but the defender says there is no reason Pool can’t get a result.
With the club just a place above the relegation zone they need points – and Evatt says the Arsenal game, and the following clashes with Wigan, Newcastle and Stoke, are crucial.
For Evatt there is extra motivation to do well against Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in particular.
He was sent off 31 minutes into the 6-0 hammering at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the season.
He said: “It does bring back bad memories to be honest.
“But it has been and gone, and I’ve learned my lessons from that day.
“It was only our second game of the season, we were still new to the level at that stage, and I think I have improved as a player since then.
“I am looking forward to a return meeting with them and it’s a massive game for us because the next four home matches will define our season.
“We were poor at Fulham. We went into that knowing we had eight matches left, but – luckily for us – that we didn’t have to win all of them.
“However, because we lost heavily there, it is getting to the stage now where we need to start picking up points, and it would be nice if it could start on Sunday.”
Arsenal were on fire a few weeks ago and challenging for trophies on four fronts.
But they’ve wobbled badly in the last month, and in the Premier League have drawn their last three matches, against Blackburn, West Brom and Sunderland.
That, says Evatt, shows they aren’t invincible.
The 29-year-old said: “Of course we are capable of taking points off them.
“Anybody can beat anyone in this league – this season has proved that.
“It will be a totally different game to the one we had at The Emirates.
“It is not a great surface at Bloomfield Road.
“It is a lot tighter and a lot closer, the fans make it hard for away teams and, fingers crossed, we can do the same.
“There is no bigger test than Arsenal and I’m sure the boys will be up for it – we will have to be because they are one of the best teams in Europe.
“They are on a bit of a bad run, but sooner or later that has to end.
“Fingers crossed it isn’t against us.
“Both teams are maybe short on confidence at the moment, so something has to give somewhere and hopefully we can emerge on top.
“We tend to do really well at home against the big teams – we have done that all season.
“We just need to really focus now because it is a massive month for this club.
“This is where we need to get points on the board.
“Fingers crossed, the boys can stick together and we can start playing as well as we did earlier in the season and get the wins we need.”
The only downside is that the Arsenal showdown is on Sky – Pool have lost five of their six TV games this season.
“It’s true, we don’t seem to do that well when we’re on the box, so it’s a shame this one is being televised,” added Evatt. “It would be nice to put things right on Sunday.”
n CHARLIE Adam will today be officially unveiled as one of the six contenders for the PFA player of the year award.