Blackpool are Holloway’s pride and joy

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
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IAN Holloway says he will be proud of his team even if they don’t win another point this season.

Despite losing their last five Premier League matches and seven of the last eight, Holloway has told Seasiders fans to remember where the club has come from.

Pool were favourites for the drop from the Championship when Holloway replaced Tony Parkes, but in a remarkable 18 months he has guided the club to the Premier League and taken the top-flight by storm.

He always warned there would be difficult times this season, but despite their worst spell since he took over you won’t find the boss getting down.

“You have to keep encouraging,” Holloway said, ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa. “We may not get what we want but you won’t catch me whining and moaning about it.

“As long as we keep our heads up and keep battling, that is the main thing.

“Even if we don’t get another point between now and the end of the season, I am going to tell my lads I am still proud of them.

“Sunderland spent a fortune when they first came up and they got 15 points. They got 19 the next time they came up.

“So come on people of Blackpool, let’s keep positive, keep helping my lads out and let’s see what we can do.

“This time last year I would have snapped my leg as well as my arm off to have 28 points and be as high as we are in the Premier League table.

“Just because we climbed so high so early, it shouldn’t now be a negative that we’ve lost a few games. I’m enjoying every minute and I hope everyone else is too. The truth is that we should not be in this league. We got here and now we are having a go.

“So let’s keep believing and encouraging and never forget how far we have come. And as long as the lads keep trying and giving their all, that’s all I can ask.

“I’m just pleased that the platform we have given ourselves, 28 points from 25 games, is much better than any of us expected, including me, so let’s crack on.”

Pool are aiming to bounce back to winning ways against Villa, who are a point and a place above the Seasiders in the Premier League table. They had five players in the England squad in Denmark last night – Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, Gabby Agbonlahor, Kyle Walker and £24m man Darren Bent.

Pool will have David Vaughan and Neal Eardley back in training today after playing for Wales on Tuesday.

Matt Phillips returns from his England Under-20s run out, while Charlie Adam is expected at Squires Gate at some point today after playing for Scotland against Northern Ireland in Dublin last night.