IAN Holloway is aiming to lead Blackpool to the FA Cup quarter finals for the first time 53 years – and make up for last season in the process.
The Seasiders chief can’t wait for tomorrow’s fifth round clash at Everton. Pool haven’t gone further in the competition since 1959 – four years before Holloway was born.
The boss believes the clash will test how far his squad has come, and he’s excited about the prospect of testing his players against the Toffees’ household names.
But it will also bring back back memories of his team’s 5-3 defeat at Goodison Park in the Premier League last February – when Holloway reckons he made an error.
He substituted DJ Campbell when the Seasiders went 3-2 ahead… only to concede three goals in the final 20 minutes.
“I didn’t like my substitutions that day,” the manager confessed. “I took DJ off because Everton were bigger and stronger than us and I wanted to bring on people who I thought would mark better at set pieces.
“I tried to block it up and we aren’t very good at that, never have been, so looking back now, I don’t like what I did.
“It was a fantastic game there last season, but that result broke our hearts because we were so close to winning.”
Holloway’s men were relegated by a point and much has changed since.
Standout players Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and David Vaughan are no longer at the club, but the boss has a much bigger pool of players to pick from.
He has promised to make more changes tomorrow, with the likes of Angel Martinez, Roman Bednar, Craig Cathcart and Chris Basham expected to step back in. Bob Harris, who has started all three FA Cup games so far, is also likely to feature. Matt Phillips, 10 goals in his last 11 games and watched by David Moyes last month, will have a late fitness test on a hamstring problem.
“The options I’ve got are frightening,” admitted the boss.
FOR MORE FROM IAN HOLLOWAY AND A FULL MATCH PREVIEW, SEE FRIDAY’S GAZETTE.