Ian Holloway dares to dream but bans the use of the word 'promotion' with five games remaining - 10 years on from Blackpool's promotion to the Premier League

It’s 10 years since the greatest achievement of Blackpool FC’s recent history: promotion to the Premier League for a season feasting on unforgettable football at the English game’s top table.
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Blackpool great Charlie Adam says season must be played to a finish

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be dipping into the archives to bring you STEVE CANAVAN’S Gazette reports from a decade ago on Blackpool’s remarkable journey to the promised land.

On this day 10 years ago, boss Ian Holloway was attempting to keep his feet on the floor despite Pool’s sparkling run of form...

Ian Holloway was looking up at the stars...Ian Holloway was looking up at the stars...
Ian Holloway was looking up at the stars...
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Ian Holloway’s Blackpool are a single point off a play-off place and set for a thrilling end to the season… but you still won’t catch the manager mentioning the ‘ P’ word.

Any talk of promotion to the promised land of the Premier League is banned, despite the thumping 4-2 victory at Scunthorpe United on Good Friday which - coupled with Leicester’s 3-0 defeat by West Brom - lifts Pool right into the mix.

The Seasiders scored three goals in the space of six minutes late in the game to seal a thrilling three points and a third win on the bounce.

It led one over-eager journalist to mention the possibility of a play-off final trip to Wembley to Holloway, which was met with this response.

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“Why is anyone mentioning Wembley? Is there a game there tomorrow or something?" he said.

“I am not looking at the play-offs at all. How can we? We are still behind other people in what is now a mini-season of 15 points.

“I know where I want to get and I know what the boys want, but you can’t look that far ahead. You’ve got to deal with every single match.

“If we’d lost at Scunthorpe where would we have been and what chance would we have had?

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“There are other people in the mix and we have to play one of them in Doncaster on Monday.

“It is great to dream. We’re all in the gutter but I am looking at the stars.

“But what I am trying to say is that in these games you have to earn the right to win. We had to pay Scunthorpe respect.

“The lads’ attitude on the day was spot on and that’s what it has to continue to be like. But I am not going to get carried away because there are five matches left.

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“The Blackpool fans and I know how good some of my players are and the chance that we have got. We’ve got to be optimistic and I have been all season.

“But I’m not going to get carried away and start thinking about things because there is too far to go yet.

“Newcastle haven’t been beaten all season at home and we have to go there and win to give ourselves a chance. How realistic is that?

“Are we good enough to make the play-offs? Can I wear a wig and dance in high heels? Of course we can.

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“But we’ll have to keep this level of performance up and then we’ll have to see if it’s good enough."

Success at Scunthorpe came six days after the win at Plymouth and means Pool’s away form has suddenly drastically improved - they’ve now won six on the road.

“It’s about time really, isn’t it?" admitted Holloway.

“Maybe I got my tactics wrong earlier in the season. Maybe I was saying the wrong things.

“There was pressure at Scunthorpe because we knew we needed to win and we did.

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“These wins we’re getting may be too late, but what a fantastic platform to build on for next year."

Such is the strength of Holloway’s squad he could bring on DJ Campbell, David Vaughan and Hameur Bouazza yesterday with the game delicately poised at 1-1

All three contributed to securing victory but Campbell took the headlines for two goals in a 12-minute cameo. He could also have had a couple more.

Holloway was delighted for the striker, who had missed the previous three games with a thigh injury.

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“When DJ Campbell is fit, that is what he does - score goals," said the boss.

“He had been trying to play for three games with a sore thigh. I know why he did it but I forced him to take a break and get properly fit.

“He took being on the bench in the right way, like David Vaughan. DJ was fantastic."

Speaking after the Scunthorpe win, Campbell admitted he was made to have a rest against his wishes.

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The striker wasn’t pleased about missing matches at such a crucial stage of the season, but he now admits the manager was right and the good news is that it is the team which will reap the benefits.

“What happened is that I pulled my thigh in February at Barnsley, but I tried to play on in the next few matches," said the on-loan Leicester frontman.

“I wasn’t feeling great though. The problem was getting worse. I was finding it more difficult to run and couldn’t kick with my left foot really.

“The gaffer pulled me to one side and said ‘I know you want to play every week but you’re not 100 per cent’. So he suggested I take a break.

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“I hate doing that because I don’t like missing games but with hindsight it was sensible and the right thing to do because I couldn’t do what I wanted to on the pitch with the injury I had.

“I had a little rest and got treatment and missed three games.

“The lads did really well in those matches, so full credit to them, but I was delighted to come back against Scunthorpe and it was great to come off the bench and score a couple of goals and help us get the three points.

“Hopefully people could see the difference in the Scunthorpe match. When I came on I felt much fitter and sharper, and I am playing pain free again now, which is great."