Tangerines can help land fruity treble

Tangerines can help land fruity treble

Tangerines Dream of Top Half

Derby County strained every sinew to achieve an unlikely survival, but since relegation was confirmed there has been an understandable drop in motivation and performance levels. Wayne Rooney has been more focused on the protracted takeover, and on giving opportunities to more young players – last week youngster Cybulsk (ST), Watson (LW) both started having only played a few minutes previously.

They’ve lost their nine away games and without key players Krystian Bielik and Tom Lawrence, it’s hard to imagine them summoning the motivation or quality necessary to change that here, against a Blackpool side that are finishing well. After two wins and a draw in their last three games, Neil Critchley’s team could nick a top half finish which would be a huge achievement.

They appear to be a team and club with huge momentum. Every piece of rotation, or tactical switch, seems to pay off. Backed by an adoring home crowd in their last home game of the season, Blackpool should have enough to make this a comfortable home win.

Downbeat Tykes To Find It Tough

It feels like everyone involved with Barnsley just wants this season to end. After defeat in midweek, caretaker manager Martin Devaney suggested that some players “have downed tools”. They’ve lost their last three games, and performed progressively worse throughout that spell.

Loan players returned to their clubs already. Bassi, Quina, Gomes are not available for selection – there’s a case that they’ve been Barnsley’s three best players since January.

North End are smarting after a 4-1 defeat at home to rivals Blackburn, after which Ryan Lowe suggested that Blackburn ‘wanted it more’. That’s unlikely to be the case this weekend. They are a much better side than Barnsley and a return to their normal level of performance should see them have enough to win at Oakwell.

Cobblers a shoe-in for home win?

Exeter City had their promotion to League One confirmed on Tuesday night, and Matt Taylor spoke about enjoying the next few weeks after ‘getting over the line’ after so much play-off heartbreak in recent years.

Videos on social media showed players continuing to party into the next morning. After a fantastic season, and a hugely consistent few months, you cannot blame them, but that’s not great shape in which to be heading to Sixfields to face a strong Cobblers team that has kept the most clean sheets in the league, and scored the most set piece goals.

Jon Brady‘s side have a huge opportunity to grab the third automatic promotion spot and there is no doubt that any Exeter sloppiness or drop in standards will be pounced upon by a hungry Northampton Town side.