Terry McPhillips admits there is added incentive for Blackpool to win tomorrow’s Fylde coast derby against Fleetwood Town than there is for a normal league game.
The Seasiders make the short trip to Highbury to take on a side that have never beaten them in a competitive fixture.
This will be McPhillips’ first experience of the local clash as Blackpool manager, and the 50-year-old admits he can’t wait to get started.
“It’s a massive occasion,” he told The Gazette. “It’s a local derby so it’s one we want to do well in and win if we can. We’ll be working our socks off to do that.
“No one is getting rested, it’s going to be our strongest team to try and win the game.
“It is the next game, isn’t it? But it’s not any old game, there is more on it. We’re well aware of the supporters and the bragging rights.
“It’s a competitive local derby and we want to do well, it’s as simple as that. So there is a bit more on it.
“They’ve got some good players, we know that. They’ve got a good budget which dwarfs ours and they’ve got a lovely training ground.
“They’ve had two tough games, as have we, but they’ve come on the wrong side of those two games. We’ve had two positives and we want to make it a third one.
“We’re expecting a fight, it will be a fight first, so we have got to make sure we’re up for the fight, win the fight and then play the stuff we know we can play.”
Tomorrow’s game will also be Joey Barton’s first taste of the derby as Fleetwood manager.
Fifteen games into the new season, the Cod Army sit in 13th place in the league, two points and three places behind Blackpool who still have two games in hand to play.
When asked about the former Manchester City and Burnley midfielder, McPhillips said: “It’s obviously Joey’s first job and they’re doing okay, aren’t they?
“They’ve got some good players for sure, so we’ll have to stop their key players and then put our way of playing on them. But it’s going to be tough.”
McPhillips is hopeful that defender Marc Bola will be fit to play.