Striker dropped after meeting no-show

Blackpool's Lomano Lua Lua

Blackpool's Lomano Lua Lua

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LOMANA LuaLua has been told to be on his best behaviour this week as he sweats over whether he’ll win back his Seasiders place.

The frontman was axed from the squad which won a hard-earned point at Middlesbrough after missing a team meeting before the game.

Manager Ian Holloway said LuaLua, who had been so instrumental in the back-to-back victories over Leeds and Millwall before the Riverside clash, had put him in an awkward position with his pre-match no-show.

Holloway claimed he had to take action because he wanted to prove to the fans and the players that he “means business”.

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LuaLua watched Saturday’s encounter from the stand, but as long as he displays a good attitude in training this week he should be back in the squad to face Birmingham on Saturday.

Holloway said: “I was waiting to give my final delivery at the hotel before the game at 12.40pm, and for some reason he wasn’t there. He was in a room on his own.

“I was thinking about it as I was driving with my wife to the ground and I decided I didn’t agree with that.

“I wanted to say to Lua, ‘Look, you are a great player but the team is more important than you.’

“He took it in the right way. Call it a disciplinary measure, call it whatever you like, but I think it is my job to let these Blackpool fans know I mean business.

“It is not about how much you fine these boys. It is about what they want and what they covet, and I’m sure that is a place in my first team.

“It is getting more and more difficult to get in my team and so I owe it to the rest of my lads to be fair.

“I gave Lua the privilege of being in my starting line-up and I wasn’t comfortable with him not even turning up for a meeting. I had to wait for him and that’s not nice manners, is it?

“So I’m ever so sorry, you’ve played really well but you’ve lost your place in the side because at that meeting I was telling the lads what I wanted them to do and you weren’t there.”

Holloway, though, insists the matter is now over.

“It is done and dusted and hopefully we are over this blip. I think he is a wonderful footballer and I really like him as a person,” added the boss.

“It is a misunderstanding in my book. It wasn’t even meant to come out (in public) but unfortunately it has, so let’s be honest and tell people why (he was dropped).

“I’m sure a player of his quality will appreciate that he put me in an awkward position, which he shouldn’t have. But I am confident he won’t want to do it again.”