Midfield maestro Jimmy Ryan says the Fylde coast derby will be extra spicy due to the fact both Fleetwood or Blackpool’s survival hopes could be severely dented by the outcome of the game.
Fleetwood entertain Blackpool in the league for the first time in their 19 year history and it is set to be an electric atmosphere after the club revealed they had sold out of tickets for the crunch relegation clash.
Before kick-off Steven Pressley’s men will be 19th in the table and two points clear of 21st-placed Blackpool.
A win for Fleetwood will not just give them the local bragging rights but also send them five points clear of their local rivals and the drop zone with just two games left.
But defeat will see Neil McDonald’s men climb above Town.
Ryan is relishing the prospect of playing in his second Fylde coast derby and says Town need to ensure their two point cushion from the drop remains intact.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it.
“We have been playing quite well but we have not won as many games as we would have wanted.
“It will be a great atmosphere and these are the games that every footballer wants to play in.
“It is a derby game and the league table makes it even more important which will give it some added spice.
“It means so much to both teams.
“When it comes to derby games everything goes out of the window and it is just a case of who wants it more.
“It will be a tough game. It is not a one hundred percent must win game for us but I think Blackpool would say it is a must win game for them.
“It is going to be an important game nevertheless.
“We don’t want to be looking at other teams results and having to rely on other teams in the final two games.
“Right now it is in our own hands and we need to make sure it stays that way.”
Blackpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in November thanks to an unfortunate Nathan Pond own-goal.
Ryan says Town deserved to have got more from that game and that they need to take their chances.
He said: “I don’t think we started as well as we could have at their place.
“We didn’t have a good first half. But in the second half we hit the woodwork, we had an effort cleared off the line and we missed a few chances.
“We were unlucky not to get something out of the game but we go into today’s game confident, knowing we have to take our chances.”
Ryan says he is disappointed in his own goal tally for the season and the midfielders aware that they need to score more goals.
He said: “As midfielders we know we need to chip in with more goals.
“I’d have liked to have scored more goals this season.
“We have had a lot of chances recently (and not scored that many goals) but we can’t focus on that too much.
“We have got to go out there today and continue to create a lot of chances and the goals will come.”
Ryan was controversially not awarded a penalty on Tuesday night in the 1-0 defeat at Millwall.
He stormed into the box and he appeared to be upended by Millwall’s Mark Beevers.
Ryan says he is not a diver and that it was a clear penalty.
He said: “I thought it was a penalty.
“When I got up I was just waiting for the referee (Ross Joyce) to point at the spot and he didn’t.
“I was getting called a diver (by the crowd).
“I am not a diver. It was not a dive, he blatantly clipped my back leg.
“But it is just one of those things.
“It was just before half-time and if we had been given the penalty you never know what might have happened.”
Steve Morison’s 53rd minute goal was the only goal of the game at the Den.
It was a result that ended Town’s five match unbeaten run.
And now Ryan is aiming to bounce back with a vital win over Blackpool at Highbury today.
He said: “We had been on a decent run of not losing until the Millwall game.
“They only really had once chance and they scored.
“But hopefully we can bounce back and get a massive win over Blackpool.”