SERGEI Kornilenko won’t be involved at Everton tomorrow – but Ian Holloway reckons the Belarus striker could be the missing piece in the Seasiders jigsaw.
Holloway believes he has signed a top-notch player, who could make a real difference when he links up with his new team-mates in the next few weeks.
Kornilenko, who has joined on-loan from Zenit St Petersburg, hasn’t arrived in England yet, as he’s still finalising his work permit and arranging to bring his family from Belarus to Blackpool.
That means he won’t be at Goodison, where Pool will also be without centre-back Craig Cathcart, who has a back problem which could be serious.
“I don’t know enough about it yet to fully comment, but he’s out and he could be out for a while,” said Holloway. “We have to wait and see.”
Ian Evatt will come in alongside Alex Baptiste.
David Vaughan (knee) and Charlie Adam (calf) are also slight doubts, but should be fit.
As for Kornilenko, it will be a few weeks before he’s in a tangerine shirt – but Holloway can’t wait.
“I’m excited about seeing what he can do,” said the boss.
“They have a break in the Russian league and so he is effecitvely in the middle of pre-season training in terms of fitness at the moment.
“I have asked him to work with a fitness coach and he thinks it will be at least two weeks before he is fully ready.
“But his attitude is really refreshing. He turned down some massive clubs and a lot of money to come here for very little, which suits us, if not him!
“He turned down Standard Liege, which is huge. So he’s hungry and I’ll probably have to hold him back if anything.
“But he is a hell of a unit, who never stops running and chasing. I don’t think it will be too long before I get him playing for us, and that could be important, because he knows where the back of the net is, and we need some goals.
“I’ve even got a translator ready and waiting to help him settle in. The translator will put words from Bristolian into English, and English into Russian.
“I’m not joking either. He’ll need it. Bristolian is a different language – he won’t have a clue what I am on about.”
First thing’s first though, and at Everton Holloway is determined to end a run of six defeats from the last seven Premier League outings.
And after a string of defeats at Bloomfield Road, the manager feels it will help playing away from home.
Holloway said: “I think we suit playing away – it is definitely more difficult to play at home in this division. Results are proving that.
“Nearly everybody in the Premier League is very good at stopping you when they are away from home, and then counter-attacking, which is what West Ham did the other night. We had 21 shots, they had 11 – but they scored three and we got one.
“Our style is definitely counter-attacking and getting forward and having a go. And it helps us that teams expect to beat us at home. Everton will expect to beat us, and that puts pressure on them.”