Evatt: Only Ollie can save Pool

Ian Evatt
Ian Evatt
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Former Seasiders skipper Ian Evatt insists only Ian Holloway can rescue Blackpool from “self-destruction” as their hunt for a new manager continues.

The odds are lengthening on Holloway – the man who took Pool to the promised land of the Premier League – returning to Bloomfield Road,leaving

West Ham assistant boss Neil McDonald as the runaway bookies’ favourite to land the job dubbed by some as football’s most poisoned chalice.

Graham Westley, a flop at Preston North End, is second-favourite, having recently left Stevenage, where his contract was not renewed.

But 33-year-old Evatt, captain of Pool’s League One rivals Chesterfield, believes Holloway is the obvious choice.

He said: “It’s so disappointing looking into the club from outside.

“There was always a chance it could self-destruct. It was a ticking time bomb and now it’s seriously gone off.

“It’s so frustrating to see our hard work has just disappeared.

“There’s only one man for the job. Ollie has got the power to bring the fans back and he is the only person who could stand up to (chairman Karl)Oyston.

“I hope he goes back for the sake of the club.”

Evatt was back in Blackpool last month as the entire promotion-winning squad of 2009-10 was reunited for a gala event to raise money for the Gary Parkinson Trust.

The veteran centre-half is still a hero to the Seasiders faithful, having made more than 200 league appearances.

Evatt’s seven seasons at Pool may have come to a rather humiliating end two summers ago, when he was offered a trial to earn a new contract, but he would still happily return and complete “unfinished business” at the club.

Coventry-born Evatt explained: “I would love to go back to Blackpool

“I feel like I have unfinished business there. I was gutted at the way my exit was handled.

“The first serious injury I got, I was cast aside. I’m not sure whose decision that was – the manager’s or the chairman’s – but it really hurts.

“You never say never in football and I hope one day I may return.”

Evatt isn’t the only former Pool centre-half to have seen the writing on the wall at Bloomfield Road.

Craig Cathcart, promoted to the Premier League with Watford and currently away on international duty with Northern Ireland, has also spoken out, claiming too many talented players have been allowed to leave Bloomfield Road.

The 24-year-old, who left Pool last summer, said: “To be honest, you could see it coming over the years.

“The first two years I was there we got relegated (from the Premier League) by a point and then got to the play-off final. But from then on we seemed to let our best players leave on frees and we couldn’t really replace them.

“It’s obviously concluded with what’s happened there now.

“It’s a difficult time for Blackpool but hopefully they’ll bounce back.”