IAN Holloway believes Blackpool are perfectly placed for a crack at promotion.
Heading into the second half of the season, which starts with tomorrow’s trip to Birmingham, the boss reckons the current Pool squad is his best in years.
Holloway’s men are seventh and perfectly poised for a shot at getting back among the big boys in the Premier League.
The manager believes his players are well capable of mounting a challenge – and his aim is to build a side which betters his previous promotion-winning team.
Holloway said: “I have got a great group of players and I am convinced they can keep on getting better.
“It has been a difficult year. We had to deal with a horrendous relegation, and losing something we all so desperately wanted to keep hold of, as well as losing some of our best players.
“But we have come back. We have finally shaken off that depression from what happened last season and we are looking a really good footballing side.
“Let’s see if we can build another team. The one we lost last year was the best for 40 years. Let’s try to better that.
“We want to emulate what the last squad did.
“I inherited half of them and I brought some in, but they responded to each other brilliantly and we did the unthinkable and the unbelievable.
“No-one had ever done it on anything like our budget.
“That was then and this is now, but we are trying to play football the right way, and to work together to achieve great things.
“I am very pleased with the way this group is developing. We are playing a little differently but I like the way it is going. I think there are good times ahead.”
Holloway’s previous promotion side endured a lean run after Christmas but the boss is confident of avoiding another.
He continued: “I want to keep building. The football we produced at Barnsley showed we are doing that.
“We’ve got the best pool of players we’ve had for a long time and that can only bode well for the second half of the season.
“We still have to prove we can do it and we won’t know that until the end of the campaign.
“But I am excited and I am expecting us to kick on.
“This group we’ve got is learning to win games.
“Obviously there are bits and pieces I still want to improve and tinker with, but we have some fantastic footballers.
“I am absolutely delighted with where we are as a club at the moment.”