IAN Holloway admitted he was a relieved man after the Seasiders ended their losing streak and took a major step towards getting their Premier League campaign back on track.
Holloway would have preferred all three points against Aston Villa, but after five defeats on the trot the boss was more than happy with the 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road.
“Of course I’m relieved because the last thing we wanted was to lose another match,” said the manager.
“If you keep losing, there’s a danger of losing faith and belief in the system and football you are playing.
“We have not played at all badly during the last few games – we just haven’t had any luck or reward for what we’ve done.
“In fact, I think we played loads better at Everton than we did on Saturday but we got nothing at Everton. That’s football and we’ll take it because it stops the rot.”
Pool have dropped a place to 16th but remain two points above the drop zone with a game in hand, and Holloway added: “We needed to not get beat and for everything to settle down, and we managed to do that, but we can’t relax or think everything is going to be all right just because of one result.
“We now have to try to start a new run because we need a lot more points. But it will be nice to look in the paper and not have everybody saying we’ve lost six on the bounce.
“I’m very proud of what we’re trying to do and how we’re doing it, and I’m just glad we’ve finally got some reward after a difficult period.”
Holloway felt his team were initially affected by a lack of confidence, describing the opening minutes as “the worst since I’ve been at the club”.
But he praised his players’ spirit and character in coming back from a goal down.
“We looked a bit nervous for probably the first time since I came to the club. That’s down to recent results,” said Holloway.
“We weren’t very cohesive with our passing and they scored one heck of a goal.
“Agbonlahor didn’t track back with Baptiste. He stayed on the wing and before you know it the ball is in our net.”
FOR MORE REACTION TO THE VILLA GAME SEE MONDAY’S GAZETTE