IAN Holloway has challenged his Blackpool players to build the same dressing room atmosphere as the promotion season.
With so many players on his books, the manager is aware that keeping everyone happy and positive is going to be a test.
But ahead of tomorrow’s trip to third-placed Middlesbrough, Holloway says he’ll have no time for anyone who kicks up a fuss and takes being left out in the wrong way.
The boss said: “There will be people knocking on my door and asking why they aren’t travelling. I’ll say that ‘unfortunately I’ve chosen him instead of you, and if you don’t like that jog on. But if you get your head up and show the right attitude, it might be you playing next week’.
“The players need to create the same atmosphere (within the dressing room) as we had when we went up, and that will come down to me handling them correctly, talking to them and dealing with them.
“I can’t guarantee them a game every week, but I will make sure that if they give me what I want, I will praise them and reward them eventually. They will get their reward by being part of a Premier League team and that is surely what it is all about.”
Holloway was in sparkling form in his weekly press conference, having finally shaken off his Premier League hangover.
He has hit upon a new way of playing, which involves crowding the midfield and retaining the ball, and is full of enthusiasm for the rest of the season. That is in stark contrast to a few weeks ago, when Holloway, by his own admission, wasn’t enjoying himself.
He explained: “I worked my whole life to get in the Premier League as a player and a manager. I was there and then it was taken from me. I felt like I’d had a bereavement.”