IAN Holloway has told Billy Clarke and Matt Phillips they have big futures at Bloomfield Road, despite sending them out on loan.
The pair have joined League One Sheffield United for a month and could make their debuts in tomorrow’s Sheffield derby.
They are being sent out to regain form after a start to the season both had hoped would go better.
Holloway believes Clarke is still feeling his way back after a year on the sidelines, and that Phillips has lost his spark since playing at the Under-20 World Cup for England.
But he insists they will return stronger and better, and with a big role to play in the Seasiders season.
“It has definitely backfired linking Matt up with England,” said the Seasiders boss.
“I want him to regain the total confidence he had in himself last year. Wherever I played him he was great. He scored from right back against Blackburn. He played right-wing at Manchester City and ripped their left-back apart.
“But he doesn’t quite look the same at the moment.
“As for Billy, I believe he needs to regain confidence in his body.
“He has spent a whole year getting over his injury and he is probably in a worse mental state than all of us because he never even kicked a ball in the Premier League and we are out of it again. That must be hideous
“He started pre-season absolutely flying, then he went off so quickly that I think he needs some games.
“I don’t think it will take him long to get his sharpness and his belief back.
“I think he’ll score goals and some time out will do him the world of good.
“I’ve told Danny Wilson (Sheffield United boss) he can have them for 28 days and if it goes well I’ll get my blokes flying back.
“Clarke and Phillips are 23 and 20 and I feel they will be very exciting for this club. They are still learning.
“I’m delighted to have them but with the expectancy of the fans, I am not sure that if they went through on goal and missed it would help them.
“So I’m going to make sure they get used to it somewhere else, go and do it again, and Sheffield United seems to be perfect for them.”