Ian Holloway has been an invigorating listen on countless occasions during the club's debut season in the Premier League yet his oft-repeated we-are-constantly-patronised-as-little-Blackpool routine can lay him open to imagined slights.
After his team had swept Blackburn Rovers aside in the first half to lead 2-0 and the home side did the same thing to Blackpool after the interval to earn a deserved draw,Holloway seemed a little sensitive after this match. His beef was over the line "we expect to get some points today", which he claimed appeared in the programme notes of his opposite number, Steve Kean.
"I thought that was more than a little bit dodgy, you've got to be careful," Holloway said. "You've got to be really careful what you say. My players saw it. I didn't need that much motivation and I think you could see that in my boys."
Yet a scan of Kean's page did not reveal the sentence. Rather, the Rovers manager had praised the impressive work done by Holloway and Blackpool throughout their debut Premier League season, although he did open with the line: "This afternoon provides a great opportunity to [get back on track] … They will appreciate that few teams get anything but a difficult afternoon here at Ewood Park."
Asked if he felt Blackburn's manager had been disrespectful towards his team, Holloway said "no" before adding: "Well everybody had that thought about us, but now that it's the business end of the season …"
Kean later referred to the match facts. "If it was motivation [for Blackpool's players] then I don't know if that worked because in the first 20 minutes of the first half it was all us"So if there was a decision for a penalty and then they get a free‑kick [for their goals] then I wouldn't imagine they would think about programme notes."
This was as effective a dismissal as Charlie Adam's wand of a left foot had been for Blackpool during the game.
After they had been overrun at the start before finding their rhythm and passing range, a fluid move from the back ended in the referee judging that Gary Taylor-Fletcher had been flattened in the area by Ryan Nelsen, and Adam finished from the spot and which Holloway, to his credit, admitted was a wrong decision. Then, just before the half‑hour, Jermaine Jones fouled the Blackpool captain and from 25 yards Adam found the top left-hand corner of Paul Robinson's net with a curler.
At half-time Kean had told his Blackburn team to just keep on doing what they had been doing as first Chris Samba and then David Hoilett, in added time, duly secured the point that moved them up a place to 13th.
While Blackpool have the same total as Rovers, a win is all that separates Wigan Athletic in bottom place and the seven sides above them. Kean was asked if this made the late-season scuffle for survival all the more thrilling. "It'd be more exciting if you were in nice comfortable 10th [then] you could look down and see everybody fighting for it."
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