Ollie’s case for the defence

07.08.12 - Swansea City v Blackpool - Preseason Friendly -'Blackpool manager Ian Holloway.'� Huw Evans Picture Agency

07.08.12 - Swansea City v Blackpool - Preseason Friendly -'Blackpool manager Ian Holloway.'� Huw Evans Picture Agency

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WHILE the goals continue to flow for the Seasiders, it’s the other end of the pitch that’s impressing at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool boast the second best defensive record in the Championship, having conceded four goals in their six league games.

Only Brighton have allowed fewer goals against so far.

And it’s no coincidence.

Ian Holloway and his staff highlighted the defensive side of the Seasiders as a top priority in the summer, and their hard work on the training pitch is clearly paying off.

“We are working very hard on that side of things, and we are trying to change the way we defend,” says Holloway, pictured left.

“The exciting thing for me is that we still have the attacking flair, as well as now being so difficult to break down.

“I was disappointed we conceded on Tuesday night, I didn’t think we deserved to.

“We have to be able to weather all sorts of different things in this league.

“It’s important we can handle conceding a goal in a game, or simply being outplayed for spells of games.

“We have to be able to dig in, and fight things out of games or spells of games.”

Holloway has picked two different midfields in his last two games.

And while it’s often the defender who are highlighted when talking about defending, Holloway believes the three in front of the back four are just as important.

“The blend of the side, all over the park, is really important,” he said.

“Maybe I didn’t quite get that right on Saturday at Barnsley, but we did on Tuesday.

“Against Barnsley we didn’t quite win the ball back well enough, but I’ve written that down and we’ll keep working.

“We have players who can offer things at both ends of the pitch now.

“They can change a game going forward, but aren’t scared of rolling up their sleeves when things get tough.”

And while it’s often the defender who are highlighted when talking about defending, Holloway believes the three in front of the back four are just as important.

“The blend of the side, all over the park, is really important,” he said.

“Maybe I didn’t quite get that right on Saturday at Barnsley, but we did on Tuesday. Against Barnsley we didn’t quite win the ball back well enough, but I’ve written that down and we’ll keep working.

“We have players who can offer things at both ends of the pitch now.

“They can change a game going forward, but aren’t scared of rolling up their sleeves when things get tough.”