IAN Holloway has pledged he will play his ‘strongest side possible’ when the Seasiders come face-to-face with Fleetwood in the FA Cup.
The Blackpool boss is known for making wholesale changes in cup competitions – he changed his whole team for last season’s cup tie at Southampton.
But with local pride at stake, Holloway has promised fans he will do everything he can to win the game.
“I’ll be picking as strong a team as I possibly can, I can guarantee you that,” he said.
“I’ll have to play a much stronger team than the one I did against Southampton in the cup last season.
“We aren’t fighting for Premier League survival this year, so I want a good cup run. We’ll try our best to win the game.”
Wins against Wycombe and Yeovil for Fleetwood set up the Fylde coast’s dream FA Cup tie.
And Holloway (pictured above) was full of praise for Micky Mellon and his players.
He said: “What an absolutely magnificent achievement for them. They’ve wanted a game against us for a while now, in pre-season or whatever, and now they’ve earned the right to play us.
“I don’t think there’s too much love lost between my chairman and their chairman.
“But Fleetwood have got to be commended, to have beaten Wycombe and then beaten Yeovil away, they thoroughly deserve it.
“I will have to make sure that my players give the game as much care as Fleetwood.
“They’ve raised their game over and over again, and no doubt they will against us.
“My lads will be favourites, and that’s a different situation for us to be in – Blackpool aren’t used to being favourites.
The Seasiders have been allocated 800 standing tickets for the game.
A ballot will take place for tickets, priced at £19.50 for adults and £12 for concessions, for season ticket holders of five years or more.
As well as it being a derby, Holloway thinks the lack of travelling is a huge boost to his players.
Had Fleetwood not made it through, Blackpool would have faced a five-hour trip to face Yeovil.
“I’m delighted that the travelling won’t be a problem, I’d much rather go to Fleetwood than Yeovil,” he revealed.
“It’s a cup game, and I will give that the right amount of thought when it comes along.
“Fleetwood deserve an awful amount of credit.
“I know what Micky wants – to get into the Football League – and the way they are going, and the support he has from his chairman, he has every chance of doing it.
“It’s a game I’m really looking forward to.”
“I’ve never actually been to Fleetwood, so I’m looking forward to the trip.”