Holloway promises much more

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths/Griffiths Photographers 'NPower Championship Middlesbrough v Blackpool 19-11-11
Pic by Jimmy Griffiths/Griffiths Photographers 'NPower Championship Middlesbrough v Blackpool 19-11-11
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IAN Holloway is delighted his Blackpool team are riding so high in the Championship because he reckons the fans ain’t seen nothing yet.

Seventeen games into the season, Pool are seventh – a point and a place off the play-off zone.

But the manager believes his team have only just begun to find their feet and he can’t wait to see what they produce when they truly get going.

Holloway insisted: “It is just the start for this team – they can get better.

“I don’t think they have played anywhere near as well as they can as a group yet – and yet we are still up and around the higher echelons of the league. They will play a lot better when they know each other more.

“They also need to get more familiar with our style because I’ve had to change one or two things to stop us getting too predictable.

“I want lots of movement and I want people to interchange positions. I think we need to do more of that than we have in the last two seasons because of the players we have now.

“We started slowly at Middlesbrough but as we got braver, which is what I want us to be, the better we got.

“It is going to be nip and tuck all the way through this Championship season. It will be all about character but we are learning by the week, and the more I look at them the stronger we are getting.

“I think we have been better in the last three games than we’ve been all season. I can see the character and the performances coming.

“Is it coming quickly enough? Can we get there (to the Premier League) again? Time will tell, but we have just played a very good Middlesbrough team and come through with flying colours. If that is anything to go by, then we are going to be OK this season.”

But no matter how much character his players showed on Saturday, Pool wouldn’t have claimed a point but for yet another fine performance by Matt Gilks.

Of all the transfer business conducted in the summer, the most important might well have been persuading Gilks to sign a new deal after the keeper seemed certain to depart.

Holloway added: “Matt is playing better than ever.

“He made some brilliant saves at Middlesbrough and has been doing throughout the season.

“I don’t like him having to make saves because it means we must be under pressure, but it is nice to know that when your keeper is called into action you can trust him to respond.”