‘The craziest league ever’

Blackpool FC assistant manager Steve Thompson

Blackpool FC assistant manager Steve Thompson

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STEVE Thompson has described this Premier League season as the most unpredictable ever and says there will be plenty more thrills and spills before the end of the campaign.

The Seasiders assistant boss is confident Pool will stay up but claims nothing can be taken for granted in a division which has produced shock results all year.

Thompson says preparations for the next assignment – at Fulham on Sunday – are going well but he is wary of the trip to Craven Cottage and admits he is surprised Mark Hughes’ side are at the wrong end of the table.

Fulham are just three points clear of the drop zone, two points above Pool.

Thompson said: “Am I surprised they aren’t higher? You could say that about half the teams in the league. But I am surprised Fulham aren’t safe because on paper they have players to hurt you.

“They have missed Bobby Zamora, who had that bad leg break. But he is back now and is a quality striker. They have Andy Johnson who can also cause damage.

“Every player in their side can hurt you and they have a top-quality manager.

“But it is very much in our hands. A couple of wins will give you a bit of breathing space, though a couple of bad results and you are right back in it. That’s why everyone from halfway down the division can still get dragged into it.

“It is probably the most unpredictable Premier League ever, with a lot of clubs at the bottom winning and dragging others into trouble.

“There are going to be some helter-skelter rides for a few teams between now and the end of the season.”

Thompson held a lengthy meeting with Ian Holloway after the boss returned from Spain this week.

Holloway explained exactly what he had learned on his fact-finding trip and spelled out how he wants to change training methods. Thompson added: “The gaffer has come back with fresh ideas, things he has learned from the Spanish people, and we are going to make things more demanding for the players.

“The passing drills and possession work we do will become more intense. You watch the Spanish passing game and their mentality is probably a little different to the English one. We tend to pass a couple of times and then someone thinks he has to have a go.

“In Spain they have a more patient approach. From youth team to first team they try to play to a system that suits them. They use the ball well, even when they get it under pressure.

“Ajax had a very similar system, which went right through their club to suit them. That is what we are trying to implement here.

“Obviously we have only a short time between now and the end of the season but we will alter the sessions to make it tougher.