MICHAEL Appleton couldn’t care less that Blackpool’s opponents this weekend are managed by Ian Holloway.
Holloway faces his previous club tomorrow, five weeks after quitting Bloomfield Road for Crystal Palace.
And while many of the Seasiders supporters and players would love to get one over on their former boss, it means nothing at all to Appleton (right).
“Honestly, I can look you in the eye and tell you that facing Holloway means nothing more to me than any other game,” his successor said.
“It’s just three points, and if we get three points I’ll be delighted, no matter who it’s against.
“Ian Holloway being manager changes nothing for me at all.
“It’s not Ian we have to beat on the day – it’s the players he puts on the field.
“From a fans’ point of view, they will be desperate for the players to do well and I’m sure there will be a bit of extra spice to the atmosphere.
“But we know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and we’ll try to open up their weaknesses and nullify their threats.
Holloway’s new side sit second in the Championship table after an excellent run of results. Their 1-0 setback at Leeds a fortnight ago was their only defeat in 17 league games since August.
But the Seasiders also go into the clash in decent form and are unbeaten in five games under their new manager, having drawn the first four.
And Appleton does admit it’s a big game, for footballing reasons.
He added: “Everyone else is going to play the game up more than a normal game between Palace and Blackpool.
“It’s a big, big game in terms of us going down there and keeping our unbeaten record going. They are up there near the top and deservedly so.“They have a lot of talent, especially out wide, that needs nullifying if we can.
“But come Monday morning, that result will be out of my head and I’ll be concentrating on Blackburn.
“As a manager you don’t get to enjoy success too much. You’ll enjoy a result for about an hour after a game, then thoughts turn to the next game.
“I can honestly say that on the bus home from London we’ll always be talking about Blackburn.”
The Seasiders are again set to be without the injured trio of Ian Evatt, Matt Phillips and Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
Taylor-Fletcher is back in training and should be involved in the derby a week tomorrow, but Evatt and Phillips remain a long way from a return.
Midfielder Chris Basham is also injured. Angel Martinez is expected to be replace him in midfield, the only change to the team which won 4-1 at Peterborough.
Appleton has studied videos of Palace’s recent games, and has been working on a plan to stop their free-flowing attacks.
“I’m trying to second-guess what Ian will do but I do that with every team,” he said.
“He’s gone into a situation at Palace where he hasn’t needed to change much because they are going so well in the league.
“I’m sure there will be a few twists on Saturday.”