Poor pitch at Bloomfield Road will reduce Blackpool versus Bristol City to a battle
Blackpool will abandon their familiar pass and move style when they take on Bristol City in the npower Championship on Saturday.
Having earned a reputation for playing free-flowing, attacking football under previous manager Ian Holloway, the Seasiders are now being forced into a dramatic change of approach by the Bloomfield Road pitch.
The playing surface has gradually deteriorated throughout the season to point where it now resembles a ploughed field.
And that has persuaded new boss Paul Ince to change tactics in home games.
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Instead of trusting in their normal passing game, the Seasiders were far more direct in last weekend’s goalless draw against Leicester.
While Blackpool kept their first clean sheet in seven games, they seldom threatened a goal at the other end.
Blackpool’s Northern Ireland centre-back Craig Cathcart confirmed: “We had to grind things out and it is something we will have to get used to.
“The pitch is really bad and it doesn’t not seem to get any better. That is the way it is going to be at Bloomfield Road between now and the end of the season and games are just going to be a battle.”
City have yet to pick up a single point in four away games since Sean O’Driscoll took charge, but will travel to Lancashire in confident mood after beating Barnsley 5-3 last time out.
Having lost 5-0 at Bloomfield Road last season and struggled against Blackpool’s pace on the counter-attack in recent meetings, the Robins sense an opportunity to redress the balance this weekend.
Better-organised and harder to break down under the new head coach, City have proved beyond doubt they are prepared to battle and they are unlikely to be fazed by the state of the Bloomfield Road playing surface.
In contrast, the Seasiders have won only one of their last six home games and Blackpool fans have become increasingly disgruntled as their team has slipped down the table.
The question all Bristol City fans are asking is can the team break their duck on the road under O’Driscoll this weekend?