Routines and superstitions mean more to some footballers and managers than others, but don't underestimate their importance.

In the build-up to this weekend's npower Championship Play-Off final it's been fascinating to hear how both camps are placing such a high level of importance on what goes on in the run-up to the big game.

West Ham for example, have decided not to get themselves fitted for Wembley suits because Big Sam wants his players to feel like this is just any other, normal game. That means the Hammers will travel to the match in their standard issue track suits as they do every week.

Blackpool are thinking in a similar vein too it seems, with Ian Holloway ensuring the side replicates the exact same preparation they had before beating Cardiff City in the 2010 final. This means travelling by train on Thursday, training at the same venue, staying at the same hotel, eating the same meals etc. Olly reckons he isn't superstitious but his detailed plans do make you wonder?!

Personally, I do believe it helps to feel comfortable and familiar in the days leading up towards the Play-Off final. Like a big derby the added pressure and atmosphere can make players take strange decisions on the pitch, so it's crucial you relax the lads beforehand to limit the chances of that happening.

I liked travelling in a track suit anyway, and can see the logic behind Sam Allardyce' s decision too, but let's not fool ourselves. The players are still going to know it's a massively important fixture.

It's also nice to make a special effort. When I was there with Ipswich Town against Barnsley, the staff told us to savour every moment because you don't get experiences like this, every five minutes. They were right too. The day went by so, so quickly and my memories of it these days are little more than a blur. It would be wrong to play this kind of match down completely because it is a special moment in every footballer's career.

I recall getting four free tickets and buying up to 46 for family and friends. It will be the same for those involved on Saturday, and that in itself makes players realise this isn't just any other game. How could it be, when there is so much at stake?

As for the match, I still make West Ham favourites. They have the better head to head record, and the more solid defensive unit but Blackpool still have a wonderful chance to snatch a Premier League return.

I talked last week about Stephen Dobbie's love affair with the Play-Offs but remember they also have Kevin Phillips too. He's not exactly got a shabby record, and his experience could prove to be crucial. I was there when Dean Windass notched the winner for Hull City in 2009 at the age of 39. Could KP do the same this weekend? It makes you wonder…

Whatever happens, it's bound to be a cracking game. These are two of the most attack-minded teams in the division, who are capable of scoring goals. I'm sure both would be a credit to top flight football next season.

One team that's desperate to make that step up are Leicester City, who under achieved badly in 2011/12.

They've made two extremely early signings in the shape of Manchester United duo Ritchie De Laet and Matthew James and that's a show of intent from Nigel Pearson who has identified the pair as two guys who will improve them next term. It's also the start of a reshaping of the side, that will most certainly be in his own mould come August.

I'll give Pearson credit, because most players prefer to keep their options open at this time of the year. Clubs do it as well, as they like to know who's out there before diving in but players in particular usually enjoy holding off when they know there will be several interested parties.

Convincing De Laet and James to commit to Leicester City right now, won't have been easy, and it shows us what pulling power they might have this summer as their ambitious plans enter the next phase.