Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Blackpool
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
The Tangerines’ current manager is Michael Appleton, who took over in June 2022, joining the club for a second period in charge.
During his playing career, the former midfielder came through the ranks at Manchester United, but moved on to Preston North End in 1997, where he found regular football.
Appleton went on to represent the Lilywhites in over 100 league fixtures, also featuring for two seasons for West Bromwich Albion before he was forced to retire through injury.
His first managerial role was with Portsmouth, prior to his first spell at Blackpool.
After a short time at Bloomfield Road, Appleton moved on to Blackburn Rovers, where he spent just 67 days in charge.
However, the Tangerines boss’ found success at Oxford United, where, during his second season in charge, the club earned promotion to League One, whilst also leading the U’s to two EFL Trophy finals during his three campaigns in charge.
Prior to his move to Bloomfield Road at the start of this season, Appleton spent three years at League One outfit Lincoln City.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SEASON SO FAR
Blackpool currently sit 23rd in the Championship, amassing 23 points from their opening 22 fixtures.
Appleton’s side head into this weekend on the back of a goalless draw against Birmingham City, which was their first point in five games.
The Tangerines have fared better away from home this season, with their away record ranked 17th in the Championship.
Despite their league position, the side can take encouragement from their performances away against the top two this season, recording 3-3 draws at both Burnley and Sheffield United.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYER
The Tangerines’ most dangerous player so far has undoubtedly been top scorer Jerry Yates.
The striker has netted nine goals this campaign, averaging a goal every 205 minutes, whilst also contributing with two assists.
Yates made the move to Bloomfield Road in 2020 from Rotherham United and has been a huge hit ever since, notably being voted the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year for the 2020/21 campaign.
Following an impressive start to this season, the striker was named EFL Championship Player of the Month in October.
CITY FLASHBACK | EARNSHAW BREAKS RECORD IN NINIAN PARK WIN
The Bluebirds welcomed Blackpool to Ninian Park on a memorable night for striker Robert Earnshaw in the 2002/03 season.
Earnshaw needed just one goal to break Hughie Ferguson’s record for goals scored in all competitions in a single season.
Despite City falling behind to Scott Taylor’s close-range effort, the equaliser came when midfielder Willie Boland forced goalkeeper Phil Barnes to parry into the path of Earnshaw.
As he did throughout the campaign, the striker pounced to hammer the ball home, breaking Ferguson’s 75-year-old club record.
Five minutes after the break, a Graham Kavanagh corner found its way to Alan Mahon, who found the net to see the Bluebirds fight back to victory.
It went on to become a memorable season for both Cardiff City and Earnshaw, with the Club securing promotion to Division One through the play-offs and the Bluebirds striker finishing the campaign on 35 goals in all competitions.