IAN Holloway is targeting a top-two finish in the Championship, claiming “it’s all to play for”.
Having taken just one point from two matches over the past week, Holloway’s Seasiders lie nine points behind second-placed West Ham and have played a game more.
But ahead of tomorrow’s visit to struggling Peterborough, the Pool boss is convinced his side can put a run together and give themselves a chance of an automatic spot.
Holloway said: “For me the top two places are still up for grabs.
“I think everyone is looking at the finish line now and thinking, ‘Can we get over it?’
“I’m looking at Reading and the seven-game (winning) run they are on, and I’m thinking, ‘Can we do the same? We’ve got to have a good run at the tape now and see where we end up.
“I think there’s an awful lot of exciting football to be played yet. It’s OK for West Ham fans to think they’ve done it, but they haven’t.
“Anyone in the top 12 can put a run together. I’ve never known a league like this.
“Southampton have been totally consistent and West Ham have been superb.
“We are trying to catch those teams and are going to have a good crack at it.”
Pool let leads slip against Hull and Derby, and Holloway has told his players it’s time they got back to winning ways.
He said: “It’s been a gruelling period but we want to get back to winning.
“We probably deserved more out of the last two games but the lads are still in good spirits.
“We’ve looked at the defending from Tuesday night (at Pride Park) and we’ve worked on it in training. I’ve picked my team already – the lads know it and we are well rehearsed.”
The Seasiders face a Peterborough side low in confidence on the back of a 3-0 midweek hammering at home to Millwall.
But Holloway rates Posh highly and is a big fan of manager Darren Ferguson.
“I don’t think you can look at Peterborough’s recent form,” he said.
“They are an up-and-coming side, with one or two players I’ve tried to sign in the past.
“I like their manager, I like the way they play and they will be very tough opponents.
“Darren was made promises when he left Peterborough to go to Preston, but they didn’t materialise. It ended up the opposite to what he was promised.
“It no surprise to me that he’s back at Peterborough and doing well.
“I’m very impressed with the way he handles himself and very impressed with the way his side play.”