After suffering defeat to the hands of Oldham at the weekend, York City Knights will get another chance to book their place in the Co-operative Championship 1 Grand Final when they host Blackpool at the Huntingdon Stadium, Sunday September 19.
With the two sides set to meet for the third time this season and with a Grand Final place at stake, York talisman Chris Thorman is eagerly anticipating the game and says there’s nothing quite like playing in front of a home crowd during the crunch stage of the season.
“We’re certainly confident about the game,” said Thorman. “We were confident going into the game against Oldham and I can’t put my finger on what went wrong on the day. We had our strongest 17 available on the field but it just didn’t go our way.
“We missed the chance to grab a place at the final but if that’s how we have to go about getting there then that’s what we’ll do. We know Blackpool is going to be a tough game but we’ll go out at home aiming to beat them and get to the final.
“It’s great for us having home advantage and it’s important because our fans are fantastic. We’ve had great travelling support all season but there’s nothing quite like playing in front of your home fans on a pitch that you know every inch of as it gives you such a boost as a player.”
With the home side emerging victorious in each league encounter this season, Throman is all too aware of the additional benefits that the home crowd can bring.
“We’ve played Blackpool twice this season and we’ve shared the spoils,” he said. “Hopefully home advantage will go our way again against them this time. It’s important that we don’t rely too heavily on that though, we still need to take to the pitch and put the performance in.”
With the possibility of a rematch with Oldham in the final at stake too, York will be determined to make it to the Halliwell Jones and extend the Roughyed’s record of three Grand Final defeats in a row.
“We’re aware of the threat that the Oldham team pose,” said Thorman. “If we can make it through to the final we’ll be playing them for the fourth time this season so we’ll know exactly what to expect but we’re not looking that far ahead yet. We need to concentrate on Blackpool first. Get through that game and we’ll be ready to focus on the Grand Final.”