In a season which has seen the club somewhat implode on itself, we probably shouldn't be surprised that we woke to negative headlines concerning Rovers on Tuesday morning. I will hazard a guess that a story featuring Rovers has never appeared on the front page of Britain's best selling daily newspaper before. But it did on Tuesday, in the shape of the claims by Gael Givet that he was forced to pay an unlicensed middleman £50,000 for his role in helping the former Marseille star seal a move to Ewood back in 2009. The FA has said they will be conducting an enquiry into the matter but there is no suggestion at present that the club are directly involved in the matter.
Several media organisations were also reporting that Rovers manager Steve Kean had been charged with drink-driving following Saturday's game against United. Although neither of these stories should affect the build up to Sunday's crucial game at Wolves, the club could have done without this unwanted publicity.
On the pitch, Rovers should go to Molineux in good heart. The performance against the record breaking Champions on Saturday was excellent for 75 minutes. Rovers took the game to them and more than matched United in every department. They pressed the midfield and pressurised the backline forcing Tomasz Kuszczak into frequent errors. Steve Kean should be congratulated on the way his game plan worked out.
The last 15 minutes were bizarre to say the least with both sides recreating the 'Anschluss' game from the 1982 World Cup when both Austria and Germany decided to settle with what they had. (For those who are unaware of this infamous game, have a look on YouTube) I just hope the decision to watch United play 'keepball' does not come back to haunt Rovers on Sunday. Ironically, we may see a repeat performance at Wolves if results elsewhere dictate the proceedings with 10 minutes to go.
Molineux is arguably the most intimidating ground in the League and the atmosphere will be white hot. Rovers will need to be disciplined and resolute and will desperately require a fit Chris Samba in their ranks. Samba has had a wonderful season and has arguably not only been Rovers most influential defender this season but their most effective striker this season. This speaks volumes for our front line or lack of it!
So what are the scenarios facing us on Sunday? If Rovers were to lose, then two out of the three clubs below us would need to record victories to send us down, this is mainly due to our goal difference being superior to others around us. If we were to draw with Wolves, then tears would be shed with our opponents if all three of Birmingham, Blackpool and Wigan were to win. This is highly unlikely but there have been too many tales of the unexpected this season to rule out anything.
That is why I am predicting Blackpool will survive. They may not necessarily go to Old Trafford and win but I can see them getting a point which may be enough to send Wigan and Birmingham down if they get no return at Stoke and Spurs respectively. I foresee Rovers taming the Wolves and gaining that all important point that will see us lining up in this division again next season.
For those 2,800 of us making the trip to the Midlands on Sunday, the stress and strains of this torrid campaign are almost over. We are all in need of a break to recharge the batteries and allow the club to conduct its own enquiry into the mess which it preceded over.
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