Boisterous Blackpool fans will be a massive help, says Mark Howard
Blackpool goalkeeper Mark Howard has first-hand experience of what a bouncing Bloomfield Road is like and he’s hoping that passionate support will only help against Southend United.
Howard is now in his second spell with the club, having briefly played for the Seasiders during the 2011-12 Championship campaign.
During that spell the 32-year-old experienced packed houses every week and he knows what effect it can have on the players.
Howard said: “It’s going to be a great occasion. The players are excited to play with the fans back behind us.
“You saw at Accrington on Tuesday night how it can make a bit of a difference. It will help us and hopefully hinder the opposition.
“It gives you a lot of encouragement to keep going. I think it does give you that little bit more emphasis to wear the opposition down and I think it drags a lot of energy out of the opposition.
“That’s what a good set of fans can do. They get behind their own team but they also tire out the opposition by getting on them and getting on the referee.
“I played a few games here when it was really bouncing when we were in the Championship and were right near the top of the table and pushing for promotion.
“It does make a difference because not a lot of players want to come to this stadium.
“Obviously the pitch is never in a great condition anyway, so that is also on their mind.
“But with the support we’re going to get this weekend it puts a lot more pressure on the opposition.
“You want as many fans here as possible and it will be great for them to get behind us and back them.”