AN EXCITED Ian Holloway believes Pool have got their “mojo” back – at exactly the right moment.
The boss freely admits it has been an up and down season, and there have been moments when he wondered if his team would challenge for promotion or fall away.
But with four games to go, and his side in fifth and playing some of their best football in months, Holloway is finally convinced the Seasiders have what it takes to make the play-offs and go for another promotion.
“It is a case of bring on the next four, because I think we are ready for them,” said the boss.
“It seems like we have that bounce in our stride again.
“It feels like we have our mojo back and that is great because boy, do we need it right now.
“That spirit, that determination – it looks like we are back to our best in every department.
“Maybe the lads are all focusing on the money (the £5m promotion bonus offered by Karl Oyston). Maybe they are thinking ‘can we get that money off the chairman for going up again?’
“But I don’t think it is that. I think they are just very good players who are expressing themselves and showing what they can do.
“We are playing some great football and we are attacking and looking like the team I want us to be.
“There have been moments this year when we’ve not been like that. I remember when we lost at Burnley before Christmas, and we didn’t have a shot on goal until the 80th minute.
“That wasn’t us and it all went back to having a hangover after the relegation from the Premier league by a single horrible point. That is bound to have an effect, not to mention the disappointment of losing so many of our better players.
“But we have managed to replace them and although it has taken a while, we are looking like a really good side again and I can’t praise the lads enough for that because they have put in so much hard work to get to this position.
“We have to continue to be upbeat, positive and believe we can win these last four and then scrap it out with the others in the play-offs.”
The boss has given his players a couple of days off following the busy Easter period. They are back in tomorrow to prepare for Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.
“I think it is important for all the boys who were involved in both games over Easter to have a little time off because at this stage of the season it is about resting up and recovering as much as anything else,” added Holloway.
“It is all about keeping your energy going and you can’t do that by being flogged every day.
“I want them to come back tomorrow with a spring in their step and then we will go to Forest with the same aim that we go into every game – trying to win.”