Pool kids do Parky proud

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Gary Parkinson received the perfect birthday tonic when he saw the Seasiders team for the FA Cup clash with Southampton.

Ian Holloway picked eight members of Parkinson's youth side in his 18 for Saturday's third-round trip to St Mary's Stadium.

And although the Seasiders crashed out 2-0, Holloway reckons that naming so many teenagers was a testament to the fine work that Parkinson, 43 today, has done as youth team coach.

Holloway gave youth its chance in a bid to keep his regulars fresh for Wednesday's Premier League clash with Liverpool.

And he said he hoped the 1,033 Pool fans who made the journey to the south coast understood his decision.

"Unfortunately we are out of the Cup. I hope our fans, who were again absolutely magnificent, enjoyed it," said Holloway.

"I want that cup competition every week and that is what it feels like for us. We haven't got to wait for a cup draw – we have got Chelsea and Manchester United coming to Bloomfield Road soon.

"I want that to continue and so do my players, and that is why I picked the team I did."

As for Parkinson, Holloway says he wants his colleague to make a full recovery and return to the job he was doing so well before suffering a stroke last year.

Parkinson is continuing to undergo treatment in hospital four months after falling ill and Holloway said: "I just can't believe what has happened to Gary. We are all hoping he comes back.

"In the summer I asked him to get the young lads playing the same way as my first team lads and he did that.

"The energy he gave them is there for all to see because they are having a magnificent season in the youth league.

"Everybody at the club is galvanised by what has happened to Gary. I am putting temporary measures in place to help us but I want Gary to come back to work for me again. I want him to get well and I will never ever give up on him."

Cumbria-born Liam Tomsett, 18, made his full debut in the centre of midfield.

Youth team striker Tom Barkhuizen, winger Kingsley Francis-Reynolds and left-back Josh Roberts all came off the bench for their first taste of senior action, while Mark Halstead, Biko Younda, Adam Dodd and Pa Modu Jobe were unused substitutes.