IAN HOLLOWAY will take inspiration from a trip to Old Trafford nearly two decades ago as he bids to mastermind the victory he believes will keep Blackpool in the Barclays Premier League.
The Seasiders are almost certain to start next Sunday’s final match of the season in the relegation zone, and on paper there could be no tougher fixture than away against champions Manchester United.
Holloway, though, recalled a similar trip that he made on New Year’s Day in 1992 when the then QPR midfielder helped his team to a 4-1 victory, with Dennis Bailey scoring a hat-trick.
The Tangerines boss said: “We’ll need a day like that I think. Can I see that happening at Old Trafford again — who knows? But we’ll have a go and I’ll be very proud of my football club, particularly my players, if they can show that immense character again.”
With the FA Cup final taking place at Wembley on Saturday, it was fitting that Blackpool should beat Bolton 4-3 in a repeat of the scoreline at the famous Stanley Matthews final in 1953.
The three points gave the Seasiders a huge lift in their battle against the drop but their joy was tempered by a victory for Wolves over Sunderland and Blackburn’s draw with United, enough for Ferguson’s side to lift the title.
Holloway felt that scenario did not help his side, saying: “I wish they’d needed three points rather than just one, and I said that to my wife before the game.
“Well done to Blackburn for getting a point but it looks like we’ve got to beat them.
“Wolves have been fantastic, the spirit they’ve shown. They did it last year and they’re drawing on that.
“We’ve taken it right to the wire, which is quite phenomenal.”
Saturday’s winner came from captain Charlie Adam, who also set up DJ Campbell for the tap-in that put the Seasiders 3-2 up at half time.
The Scot applauded all sides of the ground when he was substituted late on, adding to the feeling that he will not be at Bloomfield Road next season, but Holloway insisted that is still a possibility.
He said: “We’ve got him on a contract for next year. Everybody’s in the market and if people don’t pay us respect and don’t pay us the right amount of money in this crazy world we’re in, Charlie won’t be going anywhere.
“If they liked him that much they should have bought him when I did. I’m sick and fed up of the Charlie Adam show.”
Bolton boss Owen Coyle paid tribute to Blackpool, saying: “There’s still work to be done but all credit to them. I’ve got a lot of time for Ollie and his players. They’ve been magnificent in their effort, endeavour and quality they’ve showed.”
Bolton’s impressive season has been spoiled somewhat by a run of four successive defeats but Coyle is determined their progress will continue through the summer and into next season.
He added: “I know exactly what we need come the summer and we’ll look to improve again.
“What we want to do is finish the season on a high with a home win against Manchester City and look to finish in the top half of the table.”
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