League position dictates that Saturday’s Fylde coast clash between Blackpool and Fleetwood Town will be a “massive game”.
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That’s according to Pool stalwart Nathan Delfouneso, who scored home and away against Joey Barton’s men last season.
The 28-year-old netted in the Seasiders’ 3-2 defeat at Highbury in October 2018 – Fleetwood’s first competitive win against their neighbours.
But Pool got their revenge in the return fixture, Delfouneso scoring a dramatic stoppage-time winner in front of a bumper 11,700 crowd.
Fast forward to this season and Fleetwood are seventh in League One, one place above the Seasiders on goal difference, having played two fewer games.
Delfouneso told The Gazette: “It’s a big one, especially considering the league table. We’re both pushing for the same goal, so it’s going to be a massive game.
“I expect a big crowd at Bloomfield Road, so we’re looking forward to it.
“We will recover from the FA Cup game (against Maidstone United). We will prepare and we’ll get ready for it. It’s going to be a hard game.”
Delfouneso scored at the double on Sunday as his two goals helped Pool to come from behind to beat Maidstone 3-1 and earn a third-round visit to Reading.
The Seasiders trailed at half-time but a George Elokobi own goal got them back on terms before Delfouneso’s two clinical finishes in as many minutes made the scoreline far more comfortable.
“It was difficult,” Delfouneso added. “Even before they scored we failed to move the ball quick enough. We didn’t penetrate or get forward.
“It was a great finish for their goal (by Saidou Khan). It came out of nowhere but it was a brilliant shot.
“I think that might have been their only shot. I can’t remember too many others in the first half but in the end we got the job done.”
Delfounese’s brace took his goal tally for the season to five, having netted seven in 45 appearances last season.
Always driving to make improvements, the forward insists he has to get among the goals on a more regular basis.
“I want more. I need to get on a run,” he said. “I’m happy to participate for the team and help us get results, which is the most important thing.
“But as an individual I want to keep the goals coming to top up my tally and get as many as possible.”
n Tickets for Saturday’s game must be purchased by noon on match-day.
This cut-off period for sales is again in place on police advice. The ticket office will be open until 7pm tomorrow.