The time for talking is over for Pool

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IAN Holloway has met Karl Oyston on the eve of the crucial Stoke game to plan for the final few weeks of the season and the summer, with the future of out-of-contract players also under discussion.

David Vaughan, Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks will all be free agents and none has signed a new contract.

Blackpool's David Vaughan

Blackpool's David Vaughan

With the future of the sought-after Charlie Adam also in doubt, Holloway and the chairman have much work to do when the season ends, regardless of which division Pool are in.

The manager won’t divulge exactly what was discussed but says speculation over Adam and Vaughan doesn’t bother him.

Vaughan’s future has been under the media spotlight this week, with Sunderland and Everton rumoured to be planning a summer swoop.

But as Pool face four games to book a second season in the Premier League, Holloway is understandably concentrating on nothing else.

He said: “I have seen the chairman but at the moment our total focus is on getting the points that will keep us up. That’s all the focus is on – nothing else can matter.

“Am I resigned to losing them? I’m not resigned to anything. I can’t be, can I?

“I cannot control things that aren’t in my control. All I can control is who I pick for the Stoke game and I am not going to waste my time thinking about all these other things and listening to who other clubs might want to sign.

“That speculation doesn’t bother me at all. That’s football.

“And we wouldn’t be doing very well if people weren’t talking about some of my players, would we? I take it as a compliment and move on.”

Pressed on Vaughan in particular, Holloway added: “He is a good player. We have lots of them but he seems to get in there and do things that make the others look really good.

“David is so consistent at doing it that he is sorely missed when he isn’t there.

“He is a difficult player to be without, so I’m glad he seems fully over his recent hip problem and will be playing again on Saturday.

“I haven’t heard anything (about Sunderland or Everton) and I’m not sure where people get their information from.

“David is very committed to us and we are very committed to him. Being the professional he is, I’m sure he will finish off this season before he even starts to think about next season.

“Players’ contracts and the summer seems quite a way off because our focus is totally on getting enough points to secure Blackpool’s survival at this level. That is what everybody wants.

“Even the players who were being talked about in January ... once that window slammed closed they knew what their task was, and they have all set about trying to do it to prove we are good enough to stay in the Premier League.”

Holloway is in high spirits, knowing his side can take a giant step towards safety with victory in tomorrow’s sell-out clash at Bloomfield Road.”