Matt Gilks is due to make an appearance for Blackpool Reserves tonight as he continues his comeback from injury.
The stopper has not played for the first team since suffering a fractured kneecap against West Ham on November 13th and his return comes at a crucial time for Blackpool, who are priced at 23/20 to be relegated to the Championship.
At the time of his injury, Gilks believes he was in the form of his life and the loss of their first-choice keeper undoubtedly affected the Tangerines’ defensive solidity.
In the 13 Premier League games featuring Gilks – including the 0-0 draw with West Ham in which he was injured – Blackpool kept three clean sheets.
However, the Seasiders have shut out the opposition just twice in their 17 subsequent fixtures.
Gilks’ return to full fitness will therefore be a big boost to the survival hopes of Blackpool, who are second-favourites to go down.
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Gilks is due to play 45 minutes for the B-side tonight (March 30th) against Wolves Reserves, with Blackpool’s second string 1/2 favourites to win the game.
Crucially, the 28-year-old has added incentive to perform well for his club as his contract is up at the end of the season.
“I need to be playing to either earn a new contract, which hasn’t arrived yet or been talked about, or get another club, wherever that might be,” he told the Blackpool Gazette.
“So it is in my best interests to simply get back playing. I’ve been out far too long now.”
The next Premier League opponents for Ian Holloway’s men are Fulham, with Blackpool being 11/2 outsiders for the game at Craven Cottage.
Holloway will be hoping that Gilks’ reappearance will improve Blackpool’s prospects in subsequent matches.
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