Ollie ready to change his winning team

Nouha Dicko

Nouha Dicko

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IAN Holloway has hinted he could make changes for the first home Championship match of the season against Leeds tonight.

Angel Martinez, Nouha Dicko and Elliot Grandin are all in with a shout of a start as the manager aims to utilise his full squad.

Matt Phillips could also return to the squad, having been left out of last weekend’s trip to Millwall because he wasn’t in the right frame of mind after a bid from Premier League Southampton.

Holloway said: “Having three league games in the first week of the season is probably the worst scenario for everyone (Ipswich are Saturday’s visitors).

“You have eight weeks off and then you’re asking for players to play three times in a week. I don’t know if their bodies are ready to do that yet.

“I might have to change things around for tonight.

“It’s going to be difficult for the lads to accept why they haven’t been picked.

“I think Angel Martinez is a prime example of that. He was excellent at the end of last season. He’s been excellent this summer but I felt I needed Isaiah (Osbourne) at Millwall.

“I thought Barry Ferguson’s communication would be needed and I threw the curve ball of Tiago Gomes.”

Leeds also won their opener, 1-0 at home to relegated Wolves, after manager Neil Warnock added 10 new signings this summer.

And Holloway is full of praise for his opposite number. “I know Neil Warnock is a winner” he said.

“He’s had more promotions than any other manager. If he gets up this year he has the record on his own and that deserves applause.

“I think he deserves a better chance at the top level. He almost did it with Sheffield United. He was excellent there, but before you knew it he was no longer there.

“I’m lucky – I won’t get the sack. Whatever has happened to Neil, he’s always kept going and he’s always had success, I’m a great admirer of his.

“I spent last night watching a DVD of Leeds’ win against Wolves. I’m sure Leeds will be very strong, very competitive, very skilful, very attack-minded and very hard to break down – that’s what Neil Warnock means to me.

“They will all fight and try until they die. That’s what he and his teams are all about.

“Every supporter Neil has worked for has grown to love him in the end, even if they didn’t at the start, because his teams play with passion and pride, and that’s why he is a top, successful manager.”

As ever, the Seasiders are being ignored by the bookies, with Holloway’s men currently the eighth-favourites to win the league.

Tonight’s opponents are rated third and the Pool boss said that brings its own pressure.

“If you listen to the bookies, we aren’t even in the top six again,” added Holloway.

“I know how I feel about things and what I’m trying to do, and Neil will be the same with his side.

“Good luck to Leeds ... but not tonight.”

“We can’t prove the bookies wrong in one match – it will take 46.”

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