Proud Ollie challenges Pool stars

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A PROUD Ian Holloway has challenged this season’s team to prove they can be Blackpool’s next heroes.

The manager has already succeeded in building one promotion-winning Seasiders team which will go down in the club’s history books among the best ever.

But with the fans’ support, Holloway reckons he can do it again.

His 100th league game in charge ended in a 2-0 win over Ipswich. It’s the club’s best start to a season in two decades – 11 points from six games – and leaves them seventh in the Championship.

And it prompted Holloway to talk of his hopes that his new team can match the heroics of Charlie Adam, David Vaughan and co.

Holloway said: “I love the lads I’ve got at the moment. I’ve never had any problems with them and they are all very proud of what we are trying to do.

“We know it is a very proud club with great tradition and I am just delighted to be part of it.

“I have had to build a new team – but great, let’s have a go at it.

“It is all about this group being cherished, loved and encouraged, and to see if they can pass as well as the last group.

“It is important that this group have encouragement and enjoy themselves. I want them to play with enjoyment and enthusiasm and I think they do.

“They are learning about me, and maybe one or two of the older ones I wanted to keep are fed up with me now.

“But I think it is really important that we work hard, stick together, congratulate these lads and make an environment like our fans did on Saturday.”

Holloway has spent the last week stuck in an odd position – aware of fans’ unhappiness about the lack of money being spent on new players, but loyal to chairman Karl Oyston and unwilling to criticise the club’s transfer policy.

Before the match, he called for everyone to concentrate on the football and he was delighted with the backing.

It is not about expecting things,” he said. “You pay your money and we thank you for that because we wouldn’t have a living if you didn’t.

“Never mind Sky money or Charlie’s transfer money, without a crowd to play in front of it wouldn’t be worth it.

“So all of us at the football club are trying our best to give you some success and keep it going because I believe that is my job. My lads need everybody’s support. And whether that person doesn’t come from a higher league, or isn’t paid enough, or should be bought ... I don’t really care.

“I am trying to encourage every single person we bring here to be a bit better than they’ve been before. That is my duty, so please help me do that.

“It is really important for me that we regain our self-esteem and self-belief because it can be stripped when you get relegated. But I believe we are doing it.”