NOT many football managers start doing impressions of Rocky Balboa 24 hours before their biggest game of the season.
Then again, not every manager is like Ian Holloway.
The Seasiders boss was on top form at his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s crunch Bloomfield Road showdown with Wigan.
Pool are desperate for victory to ensure they don’t slip into the bottom three for the first time all season.
But Holloway is showing no signs of being uptight about the game.
The manager said: “Pressure? My kids aren’t terminally ill and my wife is healthy, so what have I got to be worried about? This is a football game and we are going to try our best in it.
“So far we’ve done this area proud and we are going to continue trying to do that.
“Of course we want to beat Wigan and stay up, and we want that badly. But that isn’t pressure – that’s just my job.
“And I’d rather have my job than not have a job because I know exactly how that feels.
“We need six to eight points. That’s our aim and we’ll try to get three tomorrow, like we always do.”
As for Rocky, Holloway was describing his team’s efforts this season.
He explained: “We always knew we were going to be a bit punch-drunk by the end of the season with the level we are at.
“We have been on the ropes a little. We thought we’d be on them a lot more. We thought we’d be on the canvas, actually knocked out, bottom of the league.
“But the great thing is that we haven’t been knocked down yet. We’ve wobbled and the old chin is a bit sore. That is because people are good but we are trying to become as good as them.
“But all in all, the old slugger is still standing and we have six more punches to try to throw. do I think we can land a couple of them? Yes, I do.
“It’s like Rocky. We want to be on top of those steps punching the air. That’s what it is all about.
“You have to dream, otherwise what is the point of living?
“We are living our dream here and I don’t ever want to wake up.”