BLACKPOOL’S reserves take on Manchester United at Bloomfield Road today (kick-off 4pm) and Charlie Adam will start in a bid to keep himself fit and match-sharp for the vital run-in.
The Seasiders skipper hasn’t played since the win over Tottenham a fortnight ago, when he picked up his tenth booking of the season and a two-match ban.
Such is the impact and influence Adam has on the team, Holloway knows the Scot could be the difference between staying up and relegation.
He wants Adam to be firing on all cylinders for the crunch game at Blackburn on Saturday week and feels a run-out against United’s second string will do his skipper the world of good.
Holloway said: “There’s no doubt we miss Charlie when he isn’t playing. There is no-one else who can hit crossfield passes like he does.
“The nice thing is that he, like David Vaughan, was pretty exhausted because of the mental strain of having to play at the top of your game each week. So for him to have had a little break at a crucial stage in the season might do us some good in the long run.
“I think that against Blackburn he will be fitter and fresher than ever, and I think he will be aiming to play brilliantly for the rest of the season to help us stay up. What happens after that, we’ll deal with when the time comes.
“But Charlie is a super lad and it will be good to have him back.”
Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Elliot Grandin will also play for the reserves today after hamstring injuries.
Both were unused substitutes on Monday, when Holloway decided not to risk aggravating their injuries against Chelsea.
They will play an hour today and Holloway added: “It will be good for them to test themselves. We are going to need as many options as possible for the final nine games.”
The manager intends to give his squad the coming blank weekend off to recharge their batteries ahead of the massive Lancashire derby at Ewood Park.
“The week off now is a help, no doubt about it,” he said. “It will give us a chance to get one or two people back from injury, and I will have a chance to give the lads a bit of a pep-talk.
“I will also give them a rest because they need one, let me tell you.