ANGEL Martinez is becoming a Blackpool cult-hero in double-quick time.
The Spaniard has started only nine league games this season, but thanks to some fine recent performances, and a quirky Twitter account followed by thousands of Pool fans, he is already a firm favourite.
Martinez further enhanced his reputation by scoring a vital late winner in the Tangerines’ 1-0 victory over Leeds, which saw them take a huge step towards a play-off finish.
And the 26-year-old, signed by Holloway from Espanyol in the summer, admitted he is loving his football.
He said: “The last time I scored was two seasons ago, so it felt fantastic to score again and I was really ecstatic about it.
“But it wasn’t really about scoring myself – it was about the team getting the three points out of the game.
“I have worked very hard on improving my game and fitting in with the English style, which is very different to how we play in Spain.
“But I hope the manager is pleased with me and I feel very happy to be starting matches now.”
The play-offs aren’t yet guaranteed, let alone promotion, but asked what it would mean to him to play in the top flight, Martinez replied: “It would be an absolute dream to play in the Premier League, completely incredible.
“It would be everything I have been working for since I was a kid and one of the things that attracted me to Blackpool.
“It is what we are all working towards and it is what we all want, especially me.”
And as for his Twitter page, on which Martinez posts pictures of himself going about his daily life, he added: “I just try to think of what I’d like to see if I was a fan of a football team, so that is the sort of thing I do.
“I do it as a bit of fun but I am well aware of my responsibilities as a player, so I never put compromising pictures on.
“I want the fans to have a bit of fun, to see the players are normal guys going about their lives.
“For the supporters to have some photos of that is great, especially for kids to be able to see people they look up to.”
n NEIL Warnock lashed out at the referee for not giving his Leeds side a penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road.
Warnock was fuming that Tony Bates didn’t award a spot kick when Ross McCormack fell under the first half challenge of Stephen Crainey.
Warnock, who failed to mention that Pool had a decent penalty shout earlier in the contest when Lomana LuaLua appeared to be fouled, said: “I thought it was a penalty. The ref said there was something ‘not quite right’ – I don’t know what that means.
“It’s a booking if he thinks he dives or it’s a corner kick if their defender’s got a touch, but on the video the defender’s got nowhere near the ball – he’s just taken Ross down.”
With Leeds faint chances of making the top six ended by their defeat to the Seasiders, Warnock can concentrate on building for his first full campaign at Elland Road next term.
The effort was fantastic, but we are lacking in certain areas so roll on summer” he added.
Manager Brian McDermott savoured his greatest achievement as Reading secured promotion to the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest last night.
Just 12 months after McDermott’s side suffered play-off heartbreak at Wembley a Mikele Leigertwood goal 10 minutes from time ensured a summer of celebrations for the Royals.
A delighted McDermott said: “This is my best moment in football. “We are in the Premier League now and I can celebrate for the next two months.”