IAN Holloway is delighted Keith Southern has signed a new deal – it means he now has his whole squad settled and fully focused on the season ahead.
The Seasiders midfielder jetted to Portsmouth with the rest of the squad today having agreed a contract which will keep him at the club for another two years.
Southern, 30, had been the only remaining first-team regular not to agree a new deal after rejecting a first offer.
At his weekly press conference yesterday, boss Ian Holloway had talked at length about his fears that Southern would be free to leave in the summer.
He also advised the player to “keep on fighting” for a better deal.
But just hours after the manager spoke, Southern met chairman Karl Oyston for fresh talks and followed in the footsteps of Gary Taylor-Fletcher by accepting improved terms and signing a new contract.
“I was worried as I thought he and the chairman wouldn’t be able to agree, and if that had been the case, Keith would have been out of contract in the summer. I didn’t get involved. I let them get on with it,” said Holloway.
“He never stamped his feet. He didn’t sulk. He got on with it, played really well, and he has got his reward.”
Southern – who is in his 10th season at the club and has been promised a testimonial as part of his new contract – said: “I moved away from home at the age of 16 and the thought of uprooting again was quite scary.
“I didn’t want to go through that because I’m settled where I live now, and my little boy is going to be starting school in 18 months or so.
“I never wanted to leave Blackpool and I’m delighted to be staying.”