Stockport Town made the trip up to AFC Blackpool this Saturday afternoon as both sides meet for the second time in the Hallmark Security League this season.
Blackpool returned to the North West Counties Football League at the start of this campaign under the guidance of Stuart Parker and have struggled of late as have failed to win any of their last five matches.
The club have been rocked in past weeks due to recent break-ins at the clubs Mechanics Ground, with a number of things stolen, and this week will see Blackpool FC’s Supporters Trust and AFC Blackpool join together as they look for a high gate at Saturdays game, a promotion that all at Stockport Town are all behind.
Lions boss Dave Wild commented on what both clubs are hoping for this weekend, he said: “We have spoken to Blackpool’s chairman as a club this week and we are hugely behind them for this weeks game promotion. What has happened to them as a club recently with the vandalism and break-ins is gutting to see.
“A big gate will go a long way to helping them recover from what is a cowardly act against a great non-league club. I would be hugely appreciative to any Town fan that makes the trip with us this weekend as a swelled gate can be a huge help to Blackpool and it’s setup.”
The clubs first met earlier on in the season back in September when Town ran out 3-1 victors on the day. Since then both clubs have have good and bad spells on their separate campaigns but Saturday will see the two clubs coming together to aid the Mechanics in their recent losses, as well as providing the supporters with a thoroughly entertaining match
The Lions head into this match in blistering form under Dave Wild and remain unbeaten in their last eight fixtures, winning five of them, including wins over Sandbach United and Charnock Richard last month.
Home side Blackpool haven't played since their 5-0 loss at the Mechanics Ground to Ashton Town last month as their home fixture against Whitchurch Alport was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Stockport also had their match away at Atherton LR called off last week, again due to a waterlogged pitch, and the Lions have not played since their 2-1 home win over Sandbach United.
Wild, spoke ahead of Saturday’s fixture, he said: “We’re really looking forward to our trip to the seaside with us missing a fixture last week. The real aim for the group now is to continue to gel and implement our football week on week.
“I won’t ever set our lads a target for a game, it’s just important that they give 100% work rate every time they wear the shirt, that’s all I expect.”
The Lions boss, who is still yet to taste defeat at the helm of the club, added: “The table shows Blackpool as a struggling side but for me it’s a completely and utterly false position for them, they have taken some really big scalps this season and I’m more than aware of their qualities across the squad.
“Looking at the games they've lost, it’s not week after week of huge deficits and it’s only a matter of time before their luck swings for them, so it’s vital we don't allow ourselves to be complacent as any chance we give Blackpool they will be more than capable of causing us issues.”
Wild remains firm in his belief that his only target is his next opponent and refused to be drawn into thinking about aims for next season’s campaign as Stockport sit outside the playoff places. He added: “People have been asking me what my aims are and every week it stays the same and it always will whilst I'm in charge, we focus solely on the up and coming game that we face and no further.
“Each game at all times is the height of my thought process and that of the staff at the club. I obviously have things in place and ideas of who I want in and out for next season but that will be dealt with at the end of the season and no sooner! So my focus right now is AFC Blackpool and nothing else.”
Stockport Town were in the league news this week as club goalkeeper, Daniel Whiting, was awarded the Goalkeeper of the Month award for February in Division One and Wild had his say on the achievement: “I want to take the time to congratulate Dan Whiting for winning Goalkeeper of the Month for February.
“Dan has been incredible for me since my arrival, he’s the ultimate professional when he's around the training field and match days, and that is why his form is such a good standard right now. He works hard and this award is something that’s pleased me just as much as our recent form because Dan truly did deserve some credit of late.
Wild continued: “You only have to look at the fact he’s keeping a goalkeeper of Lewis Fielding’s quality out of the side to see just how well he’s performing. What is vital now for Dan is that he keeps his feet on the ground and continues to do the things that got him this award again and again.”