IAN Holloway has got his FA Cup love back – and he’s hoping to take it out on Fleetwood.
The Seasiders boss, who almost made it to the semi-finals with Plymouth, would love a cup run.
That is in sharp contrast to last year, when he rested most of his first team as Pool crashed out at Southampton.
Back then, the Premier League took priority. Now there are no such distractions.
Holloway explained: “The FA Cup means a lot more this year than it did last. At Southampton last year, I didn’t take half my team and I put a lot of young lads in.
“That was down to the fact that we more or less had a cup match every week last season.
“What the cup is about is being an underdog and drawing a bigger, stronger team than yourself, and having the challenge and the excitement of that.
“But we didn’t need that last season because it happened every week. We didn’t need to draw Man United in the cup – we played them twice anyway.
“Obviously we haven’t got that this year and so the FA Cup is more important now. In recent years, Championship clubs have got to the semi-final – Barnsley and Cardiff did it – so who’s to say what will happen? You can dream.”
Holloway is quick to acknowledge, though, that Pool face a huge challenge tomorrow when they take part in a historic, mouth-watering clash less than seven miles up the road.
“No game we’ve had this season has been as exciting as this, because of the geography of it and because Fleetwood are doing a fantastic job of climbing up the leagues, and I know Micky Mellon really well,” the boss said.
“We probably didn’t want to draw them to be honest. They are a really progressive club and it is a brilliant scenario for them, which makes for a very interesting game.
“We haven’t seen the likes of it for years – only once in our history (November 1980, in the FA Cup first round) – and I am very proud to take my players to Fleetwood’s ground.
“It will be great to see my lads’ reaction to Fleetwood’s fans and the fanaticism of their supporters.