Blackpool – first team performance required

The injury-time 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road in March was one of the lowest points of last season. It meant that the team had won just one game in seven; they had been thrashed 1-4 at Peterborough and comprehensively beaten 0-2 at home by Shrewsbury; they had squandered eight points in seven games by conceding late goals and they had dropped five points behind the play-off places. The season seemed to be drifting towards a depressing mid table finish.

The departure of Karl Robinson and the appointment of Lee Bowyer revitalised the squad and a stirring finish ensued. If the club is going to maintain a play-off challenge this year it would seem essential that they at least avoid defeat this Saturday.

Blackpool had a good November with a run of four wins which propelled them to eighth place. The run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Doncaster (sounds familiar) but they sit just three points behind The Addicks.

Gary Bowyer - who over saw their promotion from League Two and their top half finish last season - resigned after one game this season, apparently for personal reasons. His assistant Terry McPhillips took over on a caretaker basis but has since been given a one year contract. He lost his first home game 1-2 to Portsmouth but has since taken the team on a run of nine home games with only one loss. That defeat, however, was an alarming one -  0-3 to Bristol Rovers at the start of last month.

Armand Gnanduillet is their leading goalscorer with six but of more interest to Charlton fans might be Joseph Dodoo who is on a season-long loan from Glasgow Rangers and has so far scored three.

Blackpool demonstrated the value of taking the FA Cup seriously by putting out a strong team for their second round tie at Solihull last week as, if they can win the replay, their reward is a home tie with Arsenal. Bowyer on the other hand will be under pressure to deliver strong performances at Blackpool and Portsmouth having angered many supporters by playing an entire second string against Doncaster.

In recent years we have enjoyed good times up at Blackpool. Before last season's defeat we had recorded three consecutive wins (0-2; 0-3; 0-3) featuring that Chris Solly screamer, the Callum Harriot hat trick and a goal from Simon Church. There have however also been some humiliating visits further back. Relegation via a 0-5 thrashing in April 1972 sticks in the mind. The 1-7 League Cup embarrassment of September 1963 is hard to forget. Those with longer memories might recall the 4-8 defeat of September 1952 -  a game in which we were 1-8 down after 65 minutes.

The two clubs remain in limbo as far as change of ownership is concerned. They both appear to have a willing buyer but neither are able to satisfy the EFL Owners & Directors Test. There is little to offer any confidence to supporters that their frustrations are likely to come to an end soon.

So it is all eyes on the three points. Supporter expectation is that Bowyer's rested players will at the very least put in a committed and energetic shift. Anything less will be treated with disdain.