Holloway finds secret weapon

James Hurst watches on as Barry Ferguson runs with the ball
James Hurst watches on as Barry Ferguson runs with the ball
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IAN Holloway has revealed he might have unearthed a new secret goalscoring weapon … a 19-year-old right full back.

The Seasiders boss tried playing new boy James Hurst in the front three in a behind-closed-doors game earlier in the week, and was blown away by what he saw.

The teenager had a blinder on the right flank, and capped his performance with a beautifully taken goal, that had shades of one of the best strikes from last weekend’s Premier League action.

Ahead of today’s game at Portsmouth, where Hurst is likely to feature, Holloway said: “I played him wide right in the front three in our practice game against Huddersfield the other day.

“He ended up drifting in, and he looked a natural footballer.

“Late on, he bent in a goal, which was just like Luca Modric’s for Spurs against Liverpool.

“His striking of a ball is as sweet as I’ve seen.

“Whether that makes him a forward or not I don’t know, but the nice thing is that James helped us play very well, we moved the ball around and we won 4-0 ... though that didn’t really matter, it was all about the performance. I knew James would be a good squad member.

“He is a very good athlete.

“He likes to bomb forward and he can play two or three different positions, so what a great loan signing that is. I don’t care how old he is.

“There was no loan fee, not a huge wage, so it was very Blackpool-esque – fantastic!

“Hopefully I can use him like I did Seamus Coleman in our promotion year, and if he does half as well as Seamus, I’ll be delighted. That wouldn’t be bad would it?”

Hurst’s chances of breaking into the team have been helped by an injury to Neal Eardley, who hasn’t travelled to Portsmouth today.

Eardley has suffered bad fortune all season, left out of the opening game, then dislocating a finger just when he seemed close to winning his place back.

Now he has an ankle problem.

“Neal didn’t play in our friendly game because of a sore ankle, but hopefully he won’t be out long,” added Holloway.

“That’s why you need a squad, and it’s why I brought someone like James in.”