POOL’S trip to Bristol City today is a walk down memory lane for the manager.
Ian Holloway was born and raised in the city, though he made his name as player and manager at Rovers, rather than today’s opponents.
That means he will get plenty of stick during the 90 minutes, though it isn’t something that worries him.
“I am a very proud Bristolian. You have to be proud of where you come from and I’m looking forward to going again,” said Holloway.
“I’ll ignore what the more bigoted supporters say. They sing a silly little song called ‘cheer up Holloway’. Lots of swearing in it, and it’s aimed at me, but who cares?
“Anyway there isn’t anything they can shout that I haven’t heard, or that was as bad as I got off my own fans the other night!
“You have to be bulletproof and bomb-proof to be in football. I’m sure I won’t get attacked on their pitch, like I was once because I was quite a nasty player.
“I used to celebrate a little bit.
“We had a lot of success at one time at Rovers, even though we were the minnows of the city.
“The Bristol City lot didn’t like that, but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. Too much water for my liking.
“When I look in the mirror these days I almost don’t recognise myself. Either I’m cracking on a bit or this job is taking its toll on me.”
Holloway added: “It’s also nice playing there because I’ll be able to nip in and see my family. All my daughters live there now. I’ll call on a few other relatives too, which will be nice for us… but maybe not for them. They might be hiding behind the curtains saying ‘not him again’.”
Pool have injury problems galore heading into the game.
Matt Phillips, Craig Cathcart and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are all out. Roman Bednar will have a late fitness test on a dead-leg.
But City have problems of their own, with five key players sidelined.
They are also in the midst of a bad run – five games without a win – and manager Derek McInnes, who took over from Keith Millen in October, is desperate for a result.
“Bristol City are not having a good season,” added Holloway.
“They’ve got a new bloke (McInnes) who is trying to steady the ship and get them back out of the danger zone.
“I would like us to get a win but as always it will come down to who plays best on the day.
“Hopefully that will be us, but there are no guarantees in football.”