Brave Beattie plays on despite death of his dad

James Beattie celebrates his assist
James Beattie celebrates his assist
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JAMES Beattie is aiming to fire the Seasiders to three more points at Wolves despite the pain of losing his father.

The Seasiders loan striker’s professionalism has been praised by boss Ian Holloway after he insisting on playing despite the family tragedy.

Pool manager Holloway has revealed that Beattie’s dad died last week, the day before the frontman was due to play for the reserves against Blackburn.

The Rangers striker was given the option of missing the game but chose to play. He scored and was rewarded with a place against Tottenham on Tuesday, when he produced a fine performance.

Holloway said: “The fact that James still played for the second string the day after losing his dad tells you everything you need to know about his professionalism.

“He got on with it and you wouldn’t have known anything had happened. I know how he hurts and how he is feeling, but he doesn’t let that show on the training ground or the pitch.

“He is a fantastic lad and I am delighted to have added someone who has the strength of mind and aggression he has.

“He won a header against Michael Dawson the other night in the Spurs game and I actually felt sorry for Dawson. We can make runs on the back of that.

“James has done so much in his career already. Those types of player are invaluable and we are lucky to have him.”

Elliot Grandin and Gary Taylor-Fletcher will again miss out at Molineux. Both are continuing to struggle with hamstring problems.

Stephen Crainey has returned to training but is at least a week away from a return. The same goes for keeper Matt Gilks, who Holloway says is desperate to come back.

“He had a little jump around in goal yesterday and it was fantastic just to see him... or, more to the point, hear him,” added the boss. “I had to calm him down. He has been screaming and shouting in training because he just wants to get back.

“But he has a chicken leg on him at the moment. There is just no muscle on it and that’s no good because he could get injured.

“We’ll do what we can to get him back because I think everybody has missed him. He is such a positive lad.”

Richard Kingson will continue between the sticks, with Mark Halstead on the bench.

One man who will return at Wolves is Luke Varney. The striker was surprisingly omitted from the 18 against Tottenham.

Holloway confirmed this was not due to an injury. Varney has not scored since the 2-2 draw at Bolton in November and Holloway decided to give him a breather.