ANYONE who boos Ian Holloway today is a disgrace, says Blackpool skipper Alex Baptiste, writes WILLIAM WATT.
The question of how the former Pool boss will be welcomed back to Bloomfield Road will be answered when he arrives with his Crystal Palace side this afternoon, but Baptiste believes he should be cheered.
The captain said: “If he doesn’t get a brilliant reception, it will be a disgrace.
“He took us from relegation favourites to promotion.
“The Premier League year didn’t have the best ending but the journey we went on was all down to the manager.
“The lads won’t be happy at all if we hear anyone booing Ollie today.
“It will be great to see him. The things he did for this club will never be repeated.
“The spirit in the team, and between him and the squad was amazing.”
Baptiste was a regular throughout Holloway’s three full seasons in charge and so the defender is only too aware of his qualities. He recalled: “It was an amazing time, even last season’s play-off run.
“No-one will ever realise just how big an achievement all that was and what we were up against. It was all down to the manager.”
Blackpool ground out a 1-1 draw at Blackburn on Friday after taking the lead via a Gary MacKenzie header.
It leaves Pool just five points away from their 52-point safety target with seven games to play but Baptiste said: “The result at Ewood Park was a bit disappointing.
“There wasn’t much in it during the first half but after the break we did well and got the goal.
“Both teams were scrapping a bit after we scored and we dropped a bit deeper than we should have as a team.
“Maybe that was because we’ve been struggling for results in recent weeks. We lacked a bit of quality.”
Baptiste limped through the final few minutes of Friday’s game with a knee injury.
“I hope I’ll be OK for the Palace game,” he said, “though it was a bit sore on Friday.”
Palace arrive at Bloomfield Road without a win in three games. But Baptiste still sees them as a massive threat. He said: “They are a fantastic side.
“They have people like Stephen Dobbie (twice a Pool loan favourite) and their front three are probably the best in the league.
“We’ll have to be on the top of our game but we don’t fear anyone.
“We need the three points and that’s exactly what we’ll be trying to get.”