IAN Holloway says he will look after Charlie Adam like he would his own son, and won’t allow him to take a backward step in his career.
The vultures are continuing to circle over Bloomfield Road, with the Seasiders skipper Adam their No.1 target, and Holloway knows he faces a fight to keep his star man.
The Pool boss launched a blistering attack on Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier for starters, for publicly talking about Adam over the weekend.
“I am absolutely nowhere near losing anyone, which is important Mr Houllier,” said Holloway.
“He says he can say what he wants, but you don’t talk about other people’s players on the TV. Mr Houllier should not do that when he hasn’t put up enough money to buy him.
“Will I honestly sell him to Aston Villa? The answer is no because I am managing his career.
“A courtesy call to me, like (Birmingham boss) Alex McLeish did, to say he might offer something is nice. Maybe those days have gone, I don’t know.”
Both clubs have made bids for Adam, with Liverpool, Blackburn and Sunderland also interested. But Holloway insists that the Seasiders don’t need the money and that he will act in Adam’s best interests.
“It isn’t about what Charlie is worth, it is the situation of the club Charlie might go to,” he added. “I would not let my son go to a club that didn’t suit him, where he wasn’t going to flourish, and I feel like that about Charlie.
“I don’t care what anybody says, I know my work isn’t finished with him yet. He still doesn’t always track his runner. He still doesn’t always pick the right ball. As long as I feel I can help him I will.
“I’ve never seen a player run with it and pass it like him. Against Liverpool he started to run with it again, holding people off, and some of the things he did were genius.
“At West Brom I think he hit the best pass I’ve ever seen in my life. If anybody in the Premier League can hit a pass like that, how much are they worth?
“The goal against Nottingham Forest in the league last season was absolutely outstanding, so I believe he is better than the clubs after him and the money being offered.
“I also think Charlie needs to play against everybody in the Premier League. He’s not faced Manchester United or Tottenham, so let’s see what he can do in those games.”
Asked if Sir Alex Ferguson had been on the phone about Adam, Holloway replied: “I don’t think so. He hasn’t seen him play properly yet. I would like to pick the phone up and tell Fergie, ‘Have you seen this boy? He’s fantastic and he comes from your neck of the woods.’
“I’m sure I don’t have to tell Alex Ferguson who is good. How dare I even presume I can tell him who is a good player.
“Charlie has 18 months left on his contract and I believe he should go somewhere in the summer.
“Until I get the money my chairman might take, there isn’t ever going to be a chance. I want the boy to do well and he should trust me because I’m the boss of his career.
“And if I’m even half as good as Alex Ferguson one day, the lad should trust me. I just hope all this will soon be behind us because we are a well run club and we will keep going.”