BBC pundit and Preston fan Mark Lawrenson has “no doubts” Blackpool will stay up – and he says he couldn’t be happier about it.
The Match of the Day expert claims he’s been blown away by the way Ian Holloway’s Seasiders have taken to the Premier League.
And despite his allegiances to the club at the other end of the M55, he says he’ll be cheering for the Tangerines in the coming weeks.
Lawrenson told The Gazette: “I think Blackpool will stay up because they will win a couple of games and that will be plenty enough.
“The good thing is that they look like they are going to score against any team. The problem for them is that it’s so close but they just have to keep their nerve. I bet Ollie hammers them every day, saying: ‘Everyone expects us to be bottom but look where we are. We are going to do this’.”
Lawrenson holds out less hope for other clubs in the relegation mire, adding: “A lot of those teams are on the way down. Look at Blackburn – the pressure on them is massive. They were a little bit blase and thought they were absolutely fine. They sacked Sam (Allardyce) and said they believed in Steve Kean, but they are on that downward spiral and Birmingham are the same.
“Wigan are rock bottom and look like they are about to fall through the trapdoor, then they come up with a great result. But you can’t keep doing that. They just don’t have the consistency.
“Wolves have had a really good run but they are still right down there, so Blackpool just have to keep going. Some of their fixtures are winnable. I’m sure they’ll do it and that would be good for the Premier League because they’ve really added to it this season.”
Lawrenson sometimes gets stick from Pool fans because of his links to Preston.
“My stepfather was on the board and I was born 250 yards away from Deepdale in Preston hospital, so what else do you expect?” said the 53-year-old.
“But although I’m a proper Preston fan I’ve always gone to watch Blackpool because my parents had a hotel there.
“As a kid I used to nip into Bloomfield Road when the gates opened and watch the last 20 minutes, though I never told my mother because hooliganism was quite rife then!