Holloway: We are on a different level now

Ian Holloway
Ian Holloway
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IAN Holloway claims Blackpool have moved on to a different level.

The Seasiders boss says the club he joined in 2009 is unrecognisable as the one he manages today.

As his side prepared to face Wrexham today in their first game of the pre-season at the Racecourse, Holloway said they couldn’t be in better shape.

He said: “In 125 years Blackpool FC have had some very famous times, and some very bad times, but you can’t argue about the way things are at the moment.

“You can’t argue with the way the place is looking when you turn up, what the club has to offer and the way we want to play.

“The club is looking more and more attractive all the time and that gives us big hope for the future. However fans might moan, there’s nothing more stable than a club run by Karl Oyston.

“He does things in a way that proves that longevity actually works, and I’m delighted to be part of that. Me and Karl have hit it off and we have a relationship that’s never been better than it is right now. What I want, he’s starting to believe himself.

“He can see the progress we are making and how success for us can also mean success for him.”

Holloway made Dundee United’s Scott Robertson his fourth signing of the summer yesterday when he agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further one.

He looks likely to be joined by at least two more as the boss looks to strengthen his attacking options for the coming season. And he thinks the job of talking prospective signings into joining the club is getting easier.

“It makes a huge difference when I can bring a potential new signing to Bloomfield Road now,” he revealed. I’ve just signed a fella (Tiago Gomes) who could have signed a three-year contract with a La Liga side, but he chose us over them.

“I was able to bring him to the club’s restaurant for dinner with his family and put him up in a hotel room overlooking the pitch, and it makes such a big difference.

“He thinks we play the type of football that will suit him, and after spending time in the town he thinks this is a good place for him to develop. “He’s certainly not come to Blackpool for the money, but it’s great that we can offer players so much more now.

“We are on a different level now and I’m very, very proud of that.”

Pool are expected to field two sides in today’s 3pm match, with all the players getting 45 minutes under their belt.

All of the senior squad were due to be involved and Holloway is pleased to finally play some football. He said: “I like to get some time into the players’ legs, so it’s good our friendlies are starting.

“We need to prepare the players properly so they don’t pick up injuries when the season starts properly. “It was important we got the unopposed training into their legs. They’ve worked really hard and are now ready to play some football.

“We haven’t got all the trouble of last summer, when we had the hangover of people going and lots of disruption. “I’m delighted with the lads. They seem even more determined.

“The new faces we’ve added have fitted in really quickly and we are ready for the games.”