Ainsworth ready to go. Early Blackpool preview.

Last updated : 17 March 2003 By Michael Morris

Gareth Ainsworth is set to make his Cardiff City debut at Ninian Park v Blackpool tomorrow night. The 29 year old nicknamed "Wild Thing" will hopefully supply quality crosses into Earnie and especially Peter Thorne

"I want to be here next season - and all the way into the Premiership. I've moved from the First Division to the Second and people may say that's a step back. But I see it as a step forward in my career." Ainsworth told the Echo.

"Cardiff City are on the up and if, as we hope, we are promoted this season I have no doubt Cardiff will be in the Premiership within a few seasons. I couldn't be happier to be back with Sam Hammam. I am an old fashioned right-winger and my job is to go past people and get in crosses.

"If I can whip in crosses for other players to score that's as good as me putting the ball in the net. I'd like to think I will score a few, but I'll also be looking to set them up as well."

Ainsworth could find himself starting tomorrow's crucial Division 2 clash against Blackpool at Ninian Park (7:45pm). Lennie would have to break up the Bonner / Boland / Kav midfield and revert to a flat 4 - 4 - 2 with Mahon on the left wing and Ainsworth on the right. Mark Bonner could be the unlucky player to miss out.

Scott Young is struggling with injuries picked up at Tranmere so Lennie will have to swap around at the back. Chris Barker is likely to partner Spencer Prior in centre defence with Gary Croft moving to left back and Steve Jenkins making his home debut at right back. Rhys Weston is still suspended.

Peter Thorne will continue with Robert Earnshaw.

A goal for Earnie will break the clubs 76 year record of 32 league and cup goals in a season set by Hughie Ferguson. Earnie is currently level with the 1927 FA Cup goalscorer. He is only 2 goals behind Stan Richard's record of 30 league goals in a season. A record that must surely be broken soon.

City are looking to end a 19 game run without a win against Blackpool. Steve Mahon's side will include former Scotland defender Colin Hendry. Hendry looks set to return to Bolton after the game against Cardiff. He has been on loan at Bloomfield Rd since Christmas.

He told the Blackpool official website

"I've enjoyed it at Blackpool. I've been amongst a body of really fine people and it's on my doorstep so it's been good.

"Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster as everybody knows for me over the last 12 months but at this minute in time it has been a joy and a pleasure to play for this club. I just wish I could stay but it's not up to me. It's up to Bolton but Tuesday night will be my last game as I am suspended at Stockport.

"I've had a great time and enjoyed myself thoroughly."

Blackpool will also include Richie Wellens, a player linked with Cardiff by various rumours earlier in the season. He returns after suspension.