IAN Holloway described himself as “a very proud man” after the Seasiders shrugged off their Premier League hangover with a fine 1-0 win at Hull.
Pool went into last night’s game in seemingly bad shape, with plenty of issues off the pitch and with a manager who had looked decidedly gloomy during his eve-of-match press conference.
That prompted the bookies to make Hull favourites for this game and there was plenty of pre-match talk about problems in the Seasiders camp.
But an impressive performance at the KC Stadium, capped by a sublime match-winning strike from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, ensured Holloway’s men made a winning start to the Championship campaign.
And the boss was clearly over the moon ... a stark contrast to his pre-match demeanour. “The fans were probably wondering why I was down but how could I not be? We’d been relegated from the Premier League and it had been a difficult summer,” Holloway said.
“I just wanted to tell them the truth and share how I felt with the fans.
“But it’s not all doom and gloom, not at all. Let’s see what we can do. Everybody’s written us off again.
“It was a giant task for us to pick ourselves up and go again but we have done it and I am a very proud man.
“That was a big game and we played a very good side. It could have gone either way.
“It is a nice feeling to get this win, particularly as Hull is such a difficult place to come.”
Despite his delight and relief, Holloway was at pains to point out that there is a long way to go.
“This is going to be a long old haul,” he added. “I am delighted for the lads. We’ve had a tough few weeks. We had a terrible pre-season.
We haven’t played well at all but we did at Hull, so that’s all that matters really.
“I think our fans know that in this lot we can trust and it’s then down to me to get them doing what we need to do.
“They did it here against a very, very good side. We’re delighted with that.
“It’s only a start and we know how respectful we have to be to everybody in this division because I don’t think there’s a poor team in it.
“I think the teams that came up and the teams that went down are in good fettle, and it should be a hurly-burly, competitive season – but it’s nice to get a win at the start of it.”