No split loyalties for ex-Blackpool rock Crainey

Latics' Stephen Crainey
Latics' Stephen Crainey
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STEPHEN Crainey is prepared to twist the knife into his old club Blackpool this weekend as Wigan Athletic aim to book their place in the Championship play-offs.

Latics entertain the Seasiders in their final home game of the season knowing a win would confirm their spot in the top six with two matches to spare.

It’s also a hugely important clash for the Seasiders, who slipped into the bottom three at the weekend with time fast running out.

Crainey joined Latics from Blackpool at the start of the season after giving sterling service at Bloomfield Road. But he insists there will be no question of divided loyalties on Saturday.

“Not at all,” he told the Evening Post. “It’s just another game, and we can’t be worrying about what might be the effects on Blackpool.

“I had six good seasons there and I enjoyed every minute. But this is a new chapter in my career and all my loyalties are with Wigan.

“All we can do is worry about ourselves and try to reach the targets that we have set.

“There’s one promotion place still up for grabs and we aim to be the team that takes it.

“We’ve got three tough games left but we’re up for the challenge and we can do it.”

Latics will be aiming to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Burnley on Easter Monday.

After dismantling Reading 3-0 on Good Friday, a much-changed Latics side failed to back up against the Clarets and were soundly beaten.

“The boys were obviously down after Monday but we need to pick ourselves straight back up,” Crainey added.

“Saturday’s a massive game for both sides but all we can do is treat it like any other game and try to cement our place in the play-offs.

“These are the games you want to play in as a professional.

“I’m sure Blackpool will bring a big following with them, and that should make for a great atmosphere.”

Tickets for the final game of the regular campaign at Blackburn on Saturday, May 3 went on sale this morning to season-ticket holders.

Fans are able to purchase one per season ticket, with the remainder going on sale to supporters with a booking history next Friday, April 25.

Tickets are priced £25 adults, £15 Over 65s and £7 Under 16s.

Goals from Jack Phillips and Sam Cosgrove sent Latics through to a Final Third Development League Cup Final showdown with Mansfield thanks to a 2-0 win over Hartlepool at the Robin Park Arena.