Evatt’s plea to Holloway

Blackpool's Ian Evatt
Blackpool's Ian Evatt
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IAN Evatt admits he does fret that Ian Holloway may leave the club this summer.

The Seasiders centre-back is aware the Pool boss has many admirers because of the job he’s done in the last three years and fears another club might pinch him.

Evatt, who has flourished under Holloway (pictured right) and is a big fan of the manager, says it is vital that doesn’t happen.

The 30-year-old said: “The key is keeping the squad together, including the manager, because some people are going to be looking at him.

“I worry about losing him because the job he has done is fantastic.

“To get any team playing the way we have for the last couple of seasons is some achievement.

“We play the right way. It is attractive to watch and it is still a travesty the better team lost at Wembley.

“So it is vital the manager stays. Just look at the way the team played at Wembley, and I hope every fan who came to that game was proud of us because they should be.

“Considering how many millions West Ham spent and the budget they had, to do what we have – on our budget and playing the way we did – was something to be proud of.”

Evatt truly believes if Holloway stays, the Seasiders have a real chance of making the Premier League in 12 months.

“Wembley remains in all our minds, and it is still hard to take, but even straight after the game I was looking at the positives, looking round our changing room and thinking, ‘we keep this team together next season and we’re going to have some chance of going up’,” he said.

“That is why it is so important to keep this squad of players together – and maybe add one or two – because we really do think we’ll be challenging strongly next season.

“We are definitely good enough. I think we are a Premier League- standard team. We have shown that all season.

“We play the right way. We don’t just lump it forward – we try to pass through midfield and we create chance after chance.”

Evatt is starting to come to terms with the disappointment of missing out on a return to the top division.

But he still can’t believe Pool lost to West Ham at Wembley.

“I have watched the game again and I still just can’t believe how we didn’t win it,” said the 30-year-old.

“We were by far and away the better side, especially second half. We were a credit to watch.

“For that half of football we were incredible and how we didn’t get that second goal I will never know.

“If that second goal had gone in I believe we would have won it and I believe if it had gone to extra time we would have won it because they were chasing us around for that long - because we had the ball - they were very tired.

“But although it still hurts like hell I suppose I can’t moan.

“I’ve played in nine play-off games for Blackpool (stretching back to 2007), won seven and drawn one, so sooner or later it was going to change. But I think this team will come back bigger and better and stronger.”