LuaLua signs... for immigration department

Lomano LuaLua in action against Reading.
Lomano LuaLua in action against Reading.
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While Pool struggled with the weather, Lomana LuaLua didn’t exactly have the best preparation for today’s game either.

The Seasiders frontman had to dash to London to sign immigration papers which allowed his wife to enter the country.

Manager Ian Holloway explained: “He had to go to immigration to sign a form to get his wife back over here from Cyprus.

“I had to give him permission to do that, which isn’t ideal because Thursday is always about preparation.

“But I had to do it, otherwise his wife wouldn’t be here and that wouldn’t have been right.”

LuaLua will make his own way to Southampton – the rest of the squad are due to flew from Manchester yesterday afternoon.

Holloway added: “It took us 10 and a half hours to get to Brighton last time we travelled on a Friday. That was an absolute nightmare, so we decided not to go by coach this time.

“However, I’m now worried about the weather. I hope it calms down. The elastic band on our little plane might struggle to get us off in these winds.”

Stephen Crainey and Kevin Phillips will be more up for today’s game than most – both are former Saints.

Phillips, who spent two seasons with the south coast club, will almost certainly be on the bench, with Holloway admitting the 38-year-old is likely to become more of a super-sub for the remainder of the season.

Crainey is always one of the first names on the teamsheet, which wasn’t the case at Southampton, who let him go after an unhappy few months in 2004.

Holloway said: “Whatever has happened in Stephen’s career is history. He will have taken it on the chin and he will have learned from it. Some things are fair, some things aren’t.

“He hasn’t got a single thing to prove to himself or to me because I know how good he is, and he knows how much he is respected here.

“I have honestly never worked with a better left-back. I haven’t worked with a bloke who trains better than him either or has a better attitude.

“It doesn’t matter how old he is. With the way he trains, that lad can keep going for years.

“He has been absolutely foot-perfect ever since I have been here.

“He is a wonderful fella and I’m so glad he signed a new contract in the summer”.