CHARLIE Adam has backed Blackpool to beat Birmingham and book another date at Wembley.
And the injured Adam has asked the physio at Liverpool if he can go to the play-off final on May 19 to support his Seasiders mates.
The former Tangerines skipper is grafting hard at the gym to overcome a knee injury which cut short his maiden season at Anfield.
But despite that big-money move last summer, the 26-year-old hasn’t forgotten his old mates and has returned to Bloomfield Road several times to cheer on Ian Holloway’s team.
He reckons they have got what it takes to get back to the Premier League. Adam said: “I’ve been to quite a few games because I am still so fond of the place. What happened at Blackpool will never leave me – it was a fantastic period in my career and they helped me get my move to Liverpool.
“I’ll certainly be supporting them in the play-offs, and I’m backing them to do it because they can beat anybody in a one-off game.
Adam knows tomorrow’s semi-final first leg at home to Birmingham will be tough but he added: “Of the three teams they could have faced, I think they’ll be happy with Birmingham, who are under a little bit of pressure. They can’t buy players at the moment.
“But Chris Hughton has done a great job and steadied the ship because they were all over the place at one stage. He has done an incredible job.
“But I fancy Blackpool to win over the two legs, and if they do I’m hoping I’ll be at Wembley.
“The injury might make it tough, but I’ve already told the physio at Liverpool that I would like to go if Blackpool make it.”
Besides Adam, who scored a memorable free-kick in the play-off final two years ago to help the Seasiders to the Premier League, Pool also lost David Vaughan and DJ Campbell, as well as loan stars Luke Varney and Jason Puncheon, after their top-flight campaign ended in relegation.
Adam is impressed at how Pool have bounced back, and says the long-serving squad members and the manager deserve most credit.
He added: “We were so disappointed with the way it panned out in the Premier League. It could have gone wrong last summer. Relegated clubs have hangovers and it could have gone pear-shaped.
“But when you’ve got the spirit and the manager they have, plus a coach like Steve Thompson, you’ve always got a chance.
“The first week of pre-season was hard for the lads. I know that because I was still there. It was difficult because they felt they had been good enough to stay up but it didn’t happen.
“But to recover the way they have has been exceptional and it just shows what spirit there is at that club.
“Barry Ferguson and Kevin Phillips were good signings. They added the experience the club needed because there are quite a few young players there.
“The impact Stephen Dobbie has made since returning on loan has been incredible. His goals have been invaluable.
“Tom Ince has really impressed as has Matty Phillips. It’s been a good team effort.
“But you’ve got to look at the lads who have been there for a number of years and have kept that club going.
“The spirit that they have has probably got them where they are now.
“That spirit, combined with the quality they’ve got and the fact they have a good manager, will hopefully enable them to finish the job.”
Adam will be at St Andrews for the second leg on Wednesday but will miss tomorrow’s game – he will be at Wembley this weekend as Liverpool face Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
It is just a shame the midfielder won’t be on the pitch because of the injury he sustained at QPR in March.
“It is part and parcel of football but obviously I was disappointed, especially with an FA Cup coming up,” said the Scot, who did pick up a winner’s medal in the Carling Cup.
“I have also missed a lot of Premier League matches, but my loss is somebody else’s gain and whoever comes in will get an opportunity to win a trophy. The most important thing is that the team wins.”