IAN Holloway has pleaded with Blackpool’s fans not to end up like those at every other club by making his players afraid to express themselves.
The Pool boss was furious to hear his side booed off the field after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Charlton.
The manager spoke to The Gazette in a passionate appeal to the Seasiders faithful not lose touch with how far the club has come in recent years.
Holloway said: “Don’t turn into every other club. My message to our supporters is not to end up like other fans, who just moan at their team all the time. When we conceded a against Leeds the other week, our fans were chanting ‘Holloway’s Tangerine Army’ before we even kicked-off again. We went on to batter them and win the game.
“On Saturday our fans booed. What chance have we got? Our players looked scared to death.
“If it gets to the point where a player is worried about trying something special because they fear what the crowd will say, we are in real trouble. Our crowd is known for being supportive, positive and creating an environment in which we can produce something special.”
Holloway was back at the club’s Squires Gate training ground yesterday in an attempt to drag his side out of a run which has seen them lose three out of the last four games.
With no match this weekend, the players have been given the next few days off before preparations begin in earnest for the derby at Burnley on Saturday week.
But Holloway believes it isn’t only the players who need to get back on track.
He added: “We got to where we are by sticking together and getting behind each other.
The players, staff and our supporters were all in it together.
“If the fans think booing helps, then we will go nowhere and we won’t achieve anything.
“We are a special club, with special fans and a very special atmosphere.
“Together we’ve achieved things none of us ever dreamed of and I really believe we will again.
“Please don’t spoil that. Please don’t give up on us.
“If you aren’t willing to stick with us, and you aren’t willing to remember everything that’s great about this incredible football club, then don’t bother coming.”
After a superb start, Pool’s recent run has seen them drop out of the play-off places for the first time this season.
A very strong squad will take the field for this afternoon’s behind-closed-doors game against Tranmere as Holloway looks to give squad players vital game time. Scott Robertson, Chris Basham, Elliot Grandin, Ludo Sylvestre and Nathan Eccleston are all due to start.
And with Holloway less than impressed by some of his players on Saturday, anyone who catches the eye today could be rewarded with a first-team chance.
Holloway said: “I didn’t like the body language after Charlton’s first goal at all. It stank and the crowd ended up feeling that.
“Normally, when we are behind we look like we’ll score, but (recently) we’ve seemed to think that every goal against us is a disaster.
“I had a guy run down and give me stick when they scored on Saturday. What good is that doing anyone?
“It was a bad result but we were playing well until we let a stupid goal in.
“I believe in this team and I think that with belief we could have won that game, even when they went 2-0 up.
“It’s so important we all remember where we’ve come from and where we are.
“We are three points off third place – is that not good enough all of a sudden?”