A bullish Ian Holloway reckons the Seasiders’ spirited display in the 2-2 draw at Blackburn shows they are more than capable of booking a second season in the Premier League.
The Pool boss surprised journalists who thought he’d be raging after watching his team throw away a two-goal lead at Ewood Park and miss out on three hugely valuable points.
Instead, Holloway was non-plussed when asked if he was disappointed. “Absolutely not,” he replied. “I couldn’t be happier.
The manager explained: “My lads have again shown everyone how good they are. We probably need one more draw and two more wins to stay up.
“But after that performance from by boys, can anyone tell me that isn’t possible? Of course it is. Anything is possible.
“I’m more confident than ever. The lads were brilliant.”
Holloway did admit to a tinge of disappointment that Rovers’ 93rd-minute equaliser had prevented his side rising two places to 13th. Instead, they remain one point above the drop zone as just three points separate the bottom eight.
Holloway acknowledged: “We could have jumped to almost midway in the table if we hadn’t conceded that late goal and that is the heart-breaking thing.
“But the way we passed the ball around Blackburn away from home – how can I possibly criticise my players? They were so terrific, especially in the first half. The lads went to an established Premier League club and at the full-time whistle Rovers were thinking, ‘Thank God we got a draw’. And that for me says it all. We were great.”
Keeper Richard Kingson has taken stick from some fans for failing to deal with the stoppage-time free-kick from which Blackburn snatched a point.
Paul Robinson’s long thump into the box wasn’t claimed by Kingson and frontman Junior Hoilett headed the loose ball into an unguarded net.
Holloway admitted there had been “a bit of a ruck” in the dressing room about it but said no blame should be attached to anyone.
He added: “Richard was disappointed there wasn’t a foul given but I said to him, ‘Look, we’re at Blackburn, they have some big lads and you aren’t always going to get the ball, son’.
“Our centre-half was telling him to leave it for the defenders to deal with. Then he might have caught the little header back towards the net.”