IAN Holloway will change the way Blackpool play for the crucial last nine games of the season because he thinks his team has become “a tad predictable”.
The Seasiders boss isn’t going to tinker with the attacking 4-3-3 formation that has served him so well in their first Premier League campaign.
But inspired by watching Barcelona press opponents when they haven’t got the ball, Holloway will be asking his players to do certain things differently.
The manager revealed: “I’ve been putting together another plan to see if I can get enough points in the last nine games.
“We’ve got to set up a system and structure that works, one that other people will admire and will make them think, ‘That’s fantastic. How are they doing that?’ There is one club doing it and that is Barcelona.
“I love the way we have played this year and the way we try to do certain things. But will that work long term? I’m not sure.
“I think our long diagonal passes are readable and if I’m without one or two players we don’t look as effective in that system. Last year I could pick the same midfield all the way through but you have to keep evolving.
“So I’ll be looking to do something slightly different, to help my team be a little bit more solid, get the ball back a little easier and then go and hurt people. We will still be attacking, just slightly differently.”
Holloway is acutely aware that results haven’t been good enough since the turn of the year, hence his new idea.
He continued: “I feel I have to come up with something a bit different because of the results over the last couple of months.
“In the first half of the season I think everybody took us a bit lightly. We surprised an awful lot of people and played really well.
“We have continued to play well, even in this bad run we are on, but people have seen it now and we have to evolve. We are a tad predictable at times.
“If I think I’ve seen something, then I am not going to be scared to change.
“I will still be doing the entertainment side of it, but if I can get my team on the ball more and winning it back easier, then I will.
“But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing well. We are in the best division in the world and we’ve held our own better than I dreamed we would. Mind you, I did have some better dreams – in some we got into Europe and won the FA Cup...”
Holloway has options galore for Saturday’s derby date with Blackburn, especially in midfield. Elliot Grandin and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are available after injury and skipper Charlie Adam returns from suspension.
The manager held his weekly press conference at Palatine Sports College yesterday as part of the club’s football in the community initiative.