IAN Holloway says some supporters make him feel like his team is bottom of the Championship rather than two points off second place.
The Seasiders manager, whose side have a better home record than any other club in the division bar leaders Southampton, was stung by some comments aimed at him during Tuesday’s win over Doncaster and by the jeers that accompanied his decision to substitute Jonjo Shelvey.
Ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Nottingham Forest, his message is: trust me, back me and understand how tough things are compared to the last two seasons.
Holloway said: “How dare we go 1-0 down on Tuesday and not play so well. Their manager (Dean Saunders) came to stop us. He man-marked our midfield and then they scored.
“I thought it was a fantastic comeback from us. The lads who came off the bench made a difference.
“The boys didn’t play very well but they managed to show enough skill and character to win in the final seconds, and after what had happened at West Ham that was a big ask.
“Someone said to me afterwards, ‘You were lucky’. Well, not really. I had to draw on every single ounce of knowledge I have accumulated in 30-odd years in the game. I changed to a shape I don’t like in order to hurt Doncaster because they had blocked us up in the midfield, and what I did worked.
“People can pay their money and do what they want, but there are things which need to be remembered.”
In that, Holloway might include include the club losing its best players, teams changing their tactics to make life difficult and the Seasiders operating on a lower budget than most rivals.
Forest, for example, have a budget of around £21m, three times more than the Seasiders.
Holloway added: “Unfortunately some people have very short memories and there is so much expectation now.
“We have a pot full of cash now but I haven’t got it – the chairman has it.
“We’ve dipped in and spent some of it, but we are probably never going to spend what everyone thinks they would spend if they were in charge.
“Just because Karl (Oyston) has a big pot of money, that doesn’t guarantee us anything. You try to get him to spend it! You think I haven’t tried?
“But it is all relative to where we were and what we’re trying to do. If you don’t understand that and you want to throw sticks and stones at him, don’t take it out on my team.
“Even if it is only one per cent that wants to do that, that one per cent is wrong.
“This team is fragile. It has lots of younger players in it. You might not like all of them but who cares? It needs support.
“If we beat Forest we could be second and isn’t that awful. Are people still not going to be happy with that?”