IAN Holloway is having the time of his life at Blackpool.
Things are going well for the boss, with his team sitting second in the Championship with 13 points out of a possible 18.
With no game until Monday, Holloway has rewarded his players with a few days off to reflect on their wonderful start to the season.
And it’s fair to say the boss is enjoying life at Bloomfield Road.
“For me as a manager, this is what I’ve been working towards all of my life,” he said.
“We have a real club here now, instead of just a squad of 16 players.
“This is the best scenario I’ve ever been in at a club. I’m very excited about the options I have throughout my squad.”
After years of playing the underdog, the Seasiders find themselves with a totally different prospect this season.
They are feared, and seen as one of the division’s big guns.
While this gives Holloway and his players an ego boost, it also brings pressure.
Something Holloway is more than aware of.
He said: “When I first came here, we wouldn’t have been expected to do anything.
“When we played away it was about getting a goal and hanging on – well, we are not like that anymore.
“That comes with pressure, and it’s down to how the lads handle it all.
“If I can keep honest with them all and work hard, then we’ll be fine.
“When I look around the dressing room, I think none of them will have ever been in as strong a group of players, apart from the likes of Kevin Phillips and Barry Ferguson. Surely that bodes well for the future.”
Blackpool no longer fear their opposition and it shows in their ruthless performances this season so far.
Opposing managers are heaping praise on Holloway and his men, and it’s showing in how they line-up their teams. And teams setting out to stop Pool’s attackers is something Holloway knows he will have to get used to.
“The better we do at the start, the more people flag you up and want to beat you,” he said. “Teams will raise their game against us now.
“You saw that at Barnsley, after what Keith Hill said about our players and our staff.
“The expectation around the country now is that Blackpool aren’t a bad side, and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?
“You need to set yourself targets in bite-sized chunks. Teams at the top will fluctuate over a season.
“We have to try to be consistent, and when things go wrong we have to bounce back.
“On Saturday and Tuesday we got goals against us but it didn’t change us. We kept going and got stronger.”