IAN Holloway’s Seasiders kept their Premier League dream on track by pulling off another late show – but the manager couldn’t do the same in the transfer market.
Minutes before the 11pm deadline, Pool were poised to bring in a striker from a top Championship club, but the transfer collapsed despite the contracts having been drawn up.
The deal would have crowned an amazing end to a night in which yet another late fightback – Pool’s third in a row – saw them beat Coventry 2-1 at Bloomfield Road thanks to last-ditch strikes from Kevin Phillips and Gary Taylor-Fletcher, and climb into the Championship play-off zone.
Holloway said: “We thought we had the deal in the bag but unfortunately it fell down at the last moment. All is not lost, though, and hopefully we will be able to try again for the same player in the loan market.”
The boss also missed out on Motherwell winger Jamie Murphy. A £500,000 deal had been agreed but Murphy, who had heard Rangers and Celtic were also interested, turned down the Seasiders’ approach in the hope of landing a move to one of the SPL’s big two. In the end, no-one else came in for the 22-year-old.
Holloway is understood to have enquired about Newcastle’s Dan Gosling and he was a big admirer of Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison, who was sold to West Ham.
It means the Seasiders have to be content with four January signings – Roman Bednar joining loan players Nouah Dicko, Robert Fleck and Danny Wilson at Bloomfield Road.
Holloway would have liked more but was more frustrated by what he saw on the pitch last night.
The Seasiders boss admitted his team weren’t at the races against bottom-of-the-pile Coventry which made getting the points all the sweeter.
Pool played poorly and looked to be heading for defeat until that late double-strike completed an unbeaten January with a ninth home win. Only Southampton have more.
But Holloway was quick to hold his hands up and admit his team got lucky.
He said: “It was an awful performance but, because we got three points, hopefully this is a very important night in terms of the rest of the season. It was never a game for us, never a pitch for us and never the weather for us.
“We kept trying to do our stuff but it just didn’t work for us on the day.
“The ball was bobbling about all over the place, the pitch was freezing up. Fortunately, we have strength in depth at this club. I was able to make changes, and in the end they worked.
“So, to put it bluntly, it wasn’t my favourite day in the office but what a fantastic, fairytale outcome for us. That was a vital win.”