Ollie’s TV cure for Pool slump

Ian Evatt challenges in the air with Fulham's Bobby Zamora
Ian Evatt challenges in the air with Fulham's Bobby Zamora
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CHARLIE Adam and his Blackpool team-mates spent yesterday watching videos of last season’s promotion run-in.

Manager Ian Holloway wants his players to remember how good they were last year when they won nine of their final 11 games to secure a historic first season in the Premier League.

The boss reckons the body language was all wrong during Sunday’s lacklustre 3-0 surrender at Fulham.

He wants the squad to rediscover their trademark spirit and self-belief, and put everything into the final seven crucial games.

Pool remain one point above the drop zone, just as they were before the weekend’s fixtures, but the boss wasn’t happy with what he saw at Craven Cottage and has told his players exactly why.

Holloway said: “I’ve told the lads to go away and watch how we got promoted last season and the goals we’ve scored this season, and then tell me we are a bad side.

“The game at Fulham was the first time I’ve seen our shoulders slump like that and I didn’t like it.

“I was looking at my team and thinking, what’s wrong with them? We didn’t get our heads up after that. We looked beaten way too early.

“I’ve never seen shoulders slumped. We got promoted on the back of not caring if we went a goal or two behind.

“We just had the attitude that we’d score and get back in it and win. You only have to look at the play-off games to see that.

“I’ve asked them to look at the videos of last season because we need to remain totally positive.

“We can have five defeats and two victories in our last seven games and we’ll probably still stay up.

“I think 39 points might be enough and that would be a fantastic achievement, better than last year.

“The quality other clubs have got and the money they are paying is quite frightening. My lads’ spirit has got us this far, but because we made the odd mistake it looked like their shoulders slumped and their body language was horrible.

“I was shocked by that and I shall be cracking the whip when I get them back into training this week.”

Pool started well at Craven Cottage but fell behind after James Beattie made a bad mistake.

The striker miscued the ball into the path of Bobby Zamora, who charged clear and scored.

Zamora heaed his second five minutes later from a Damien Duff free-kick and Dickson Etuhu completed the rout after the break.

Holloway added: “It was a horrible result and the goals we conceded were so soft it was untrue.

“If you try to pass it you are going to leave yourself open at times, but for the first goal to come from a period when we had good possession was enough to knock the stuffing out of anybody.

“For us to give it to their centre forward for him to run straight through and score hit us hard, too hard.

“It was too much for us to deal with. We never recovered and that would never have happened last year. That’s why we were successful.

“There was plenty of the game left and the way we performed after looked too soft.”

Holloway questioned the free-kick for a foul by Stephen Crainey on Duff which led to the second goal, but he was making no excuses.

“I thought it looked a good tackle but we couldn’t even defend the cross.

“That happens sometimes and we have to dust ourselves down and get on with it.

“We had a little rally in the second half but by our standards we didn’t create enough.

“You have to give Fulham credit – they are a good team and Mark Hughes has made them even more solid.

“But we made the wrong choices, didn’t hurt their back four enough and we have to get back to the drawing board.

“Instead of us going one point ahead of Fulham, they’ve gone five ahead of us.

“Why didn’t we play like we did at Blackburn? Because Fulham played better than Blackburn and we didn’t play as well as we could.

“It is all about putting it in the white thing at one end and not letting it in the white thing at the other end. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that very well on the day.”