Owen Coyle is looking forward to a big atmosphere at Bloomfield Road on Saturday afternoon, where his Latics team will be roared on by over 2,000 travelling supporters who have sold out their away allocation at Blackpool’s home.
Coyle has spoken time and again this season of his admiration for the support his team has received from fans, and he hopes his team can repay their efforts once more this weekend, saying:
“We’re going there to be really positive in our play and being another derby we’re excited about the atmosphere inside Bloomfield Road, especially with over 2,000 Wigan Athletic supporters getting behind us.
“They’ll be behind us once again being very vocal I’m sure, and so what we have to do is produce a performance worthy of that support.”
Unbeaten at home so far this season, Blackpool will be without Manager Paul Ince, who will serve the first of a five-game stadium ban this weekend. But Coyle is under no illusion that the former England midfielder’s team will be ready for the occasion no matter who is in their dugout, explaining:
“Blackpool have done very well in the early stages of the season and have a very good home record. But we know that if we to the best of our ability then regardless of who we play and where we play we’re capable of winning games and that’s how we’ll approach the match.
“I know Paul very well and Alex Rae his assistant as well. They’ll have their team well drilled throughout the week with the intention of maintaining their home form.
“Time will tell what effect it has on the team, but I expect them to be fired up looking for a scalp as every team who has faced us so far this season has.
“Against Watford we produced a benchmark performance, and if we produce displays like that on a regular basis then we will win more often than not.
“We all know the circumstances around the result on the day against Watford, but we have to focus on getting to that level once again.”
Coyle was boosted by the return of Grant Holt, in Latics’ last match against Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium, and is hopeful of welcoming back another striker to the squad this weekend:
“It’s been a positive couple of weeks; the international players have come through their respective games without any injury concerns and they’ll re-join the group on Friday, Grant Holt has got a lot of good work under his belt after returning from injury in our last game against Blackburn Rovers so he’ll certainly make Saturday’s squad, and based on how he comes through Friday’s session Marc-Antoine Fortune may have a chance of being in the squad as well.
“We now enter a period of seven games in the next 20 days before the next international break so the whole squad will be utilised and we want to start this period in the same manner we finished the last, by winning.”