Holloway has big Pool rethink

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IAN Holloway’s mood must be a whole lot brighter now that Pool’s hammering of Leeds has got the Seasiders season moving again.

The man himself will probably disagree.

He will tell you he’s never been down or worried, and he cannot understand why anyone else would be either.

In his eyes it is straightforward. Blackpool have lost their best players since the summer and this is a rebuilding period. No-one should expect anything.

They should get behind the team win, lose or draw because two years ago – in his first season at the club – his brief was to prevent them being relegated to League One.

Just because he worked miracles to get them to the Premier League, Holloway doesn’t think it’s fair for that to become a noose around his neck. Holloway, who deserves hero status forever in these parts for his magnificent achievement in taking Blackpool to the top flight, was always going to find this season tougher.

Everyone knew Charlie Adam would leave. But the moment David Vaughan announced he wouldn’t sign a new contract, and then DJ Campbell made it clear he wanted away as well, it was clear the manager had a mountain to climb without his best three players,.

Kevin Phillips and Barry Ferguson were shrewd signings but, with limited funds to play with – targets Sam Baldock, Billy Sharp and John Carew were too expensive – the manager used the remainder of his budget to sign up-and-coming youngsters.

Holloway is big enough to admit that he may have brought in too many.

And judging by his latest comments, expect the likes of Gerardo Bruna, Bob Harris, Paul Bignot and co to be sent out on loan.

“I wanted a development squad but if you’re not playing football are you not developing,” said Holloway.

“What happened was that in the summer our chief scout (Billy Dearden) left and we needed to sign 11 or 12 players. That is a big ask to get them all right, even if they are the top 12 on your list.

“When we didn’t get the top 12 on our list for whatever reason – wanted more money, different club, higher division – we had to look elsewhere.

“We will look at what we do and try to correct it if there is a problem, because we felt that the development squad would work and I don’t know if it is.

“I don’t know if it is right to have lot of people here who might not be getting in my team. I’d rather let them go, loan them out and then we’ll move on from there.

“Myself and the chairman had a meeting about it recently. There are certain people who will be in my plans, who I will loan out and then have back.

There are others who aren’t in my plans, who we will loan out and they can go. I think that’s the best way to do it, so I am going to trim my squad.”

With LuaLua looking like a terrific piece of business, Callum McManaman a fine loan signing, and Matt Phillips and Billy Clarke back from Sheffield United in the next week, Holloway must feel like he finally has the attacking options he feels are necessary if Pool are going to make a push this year.

After a couple of months of rebuilding, the manager has once again proved he knows exactly what he’s doing – Charlie, DJ and Vaughan may be no more but the future looks bright.

Blackpool were simply sublime at Leeds and long may it continue.