Warnock favours the Hammers
Neil Warnock believes West Ham will be the team to beat in Saturday's mouth-watering Championship play-off final against Blackpool.
By James Pearson - Follow me: @SkySportsJamesP
Last Updated: 17/05/12 10:01pm
Neil Warnock believes West Ham will be the team to beat in Saturday's mouth-watering Championship play-off final against Blackpool at Wembley.
A place in England's top-flight is at stake, along with an estimated £90million windfall, as Sam Allardyce's Hammers tackle Ian Holloway's Seasiders at the home of English football.
West Ham got the better of Blackpool in their Championship meetings having followed up their 4-0 win at home by securing a 4-1 success at Bloomfield Road in February.
However, Warnock, who has won promotion via the play-offs on four occasions with three different teams, is not writing off Blackpool in a one-off clash in one of the most pressurised environments.
The showpiece event is often a contest to remember following last year's thrilling 4-2 win for Swansea over Reading and more fireworks are sure to be on offer this time around.
Blackpool were unlucky to be relegated from the Premier League in the 2010/11 season and the Leeds United tactician believes the Seasiders could pull off an upset.
"I think if you were to put money on you'd put it on West Ham," he told Sky Sports. "They've beaten Blackpool twice and scored four goals on both occasions
"I think physically they are stronger and well organised, but you wouldn't write Blackpool off on a one-off. I think on a big pitch anything can happen, they are a dangerous opponent.
"Every time we've won it I've felt we were the better team. The key is to go in and do what you've been good at. You've got to fancy West Ham because they've been good away from home.
"Our preparations were good and we turned up on the day. One or two people said the younger lads might freeze, but the younger lads thrived on it and enjoyed it."
If Warnock had any advice for the players who will be taking to the pitch on Saturday it would be try and treat the game like a normal outing.
"Just be as normal as you can. You don't try and make it anything special," he continued. "You just try and make it another match. That's how both managers will be doing it this weekend, I think."