Midfield star joins Pool for 'trial'

WINGER Richard Langley joined the Seasiders for their first day back in training – but that doesn't mean he will be signing.

The former QPR star took part in a running session and a gym workout with the rest of the Pool squad at the De Vere hotel yesterday.

But manager Ian Holloway stressed that he was simply looking after a player he used to manage and offering him the chance to get fit.

However, if the 29-year-old can prove he's as good as when he was a regular starter under Holloway at Loftus Road he may yet earn a deal.

"He's not on trial, he is training with us," said the boss. "We have a friendship and a working relationship that goes back years.

"Richard has had a very tough time over the last two or three years and I've promised him a chance no-one else is going to get to train with my lads.

"Now, if he looks anything like the Richard Langley of old, then I need a midfield player and it might suit both of us.

"But I would not leave a companion of mine who worked so hard for me in the past out on a limb.

"I'm using my position at Blackpool to help a friend and see if I can get him fit enough for someone to give him a job."

London-born Langley made 133 League appearances for QPR between 1998 and 2003 before joining Cardiff in a 200,000 move.

He has struggled of late, though, and has been released by Bristol City.

As for Holloway, he was delighted to finally meet up with his players 41 days after being confirmed as Seasiders boss.

He talked to his squad at length about the standards he expects from them during the pre-season and the style of play he is aiming for.

Skipper Rob Edwards enjoyed the opening day and said: "It was really interesting to hear what he wants. It will be different to what we are used to. It is always good to work with new people."

Holloway says he did so much talking that the players required "ice-packs on their ears".

"I think I was so excited and talking too much. They've all gone home with a headache.

"It is great because it had been frustrating waiting for the players to come back.

"The minute I got the job I probably should have called in the ones who weren't on holiday because I've had so much I wanted to say to them. Bang, they had it all yesterday."

The boss added: "I do certain things a little bit differently. I asked them all to write down one or two things about discipline. For example, how much should people be fined if they do things I don't like, like being late – I can't stand that. The only thing I want to be late for is my funeral.

"I've asked them to go away and think about my rules, and hopefully they will agree that they are fair.

"I've asked for some input but some of the things they wrote down are ridiculous. But that's what footballers are like – they want to change the sky tangerine but I can't do that.

"I will try to do what I can to show we are all in it together and it is brilliant to be back.

"The weather is very hot, so we've got to be careful but it went very well for a first day.

"They understand where I'm coming from and today they will all be tested."

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's Gazette.