Holloway promises 'fearless' football from Blackpool

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The Independent Online

Ian Holloway has promised Blackpool's fans that the team will continue to play "fearless" football next season in the Barclays Premier League.

The Seasiders will kick off their first top-flight campaign for almost 40 years in August after they defeated Cardiff 3-2 in Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Thousands of fans came out to greet Holloway and his players yesterday as an open-top bus parade took them along the town's famous promenade.

The manager then addressed the crowd from a stage to thank them for their support, describing the occasion as the "most unbelievable moment of my life".

Holloway took over at Bloomfield Road last summer and Blackpool were tipped by many to be relegated from the Championship.

But in the space of a year the 47-year-old has led the club to English football's top table, introducing an entertaining, expansive style of play which he insists will be maintained by the players next term.

"We want to play in a way that graces the Premier League, in the way that we have done in the Championship," Holloway told Press Association Sport.

"We'll be fearless and we're going to keep attacking and make it worthy of someone spending the money that the ticket costs."

Holloway accepts his team may have to modify their approach at times next season as they rub shoulders with the elite, but the Bristolian retains great faith in the system he has developed at Blackpool over the last 12 months.

"It (the Premier League) is going to challenge me tactically, which I want," Holloway said.

"You can do some tactics, but if you've got Frank Lampard getting hold of it and flicking it around the corner to Didier Drogba, you might have to think differently about how you deal with it.

"But you have to believe in yourself and a structure. I certainly do and I believe in these guys to go out and give their best.

"They never give up and that's a dangerous opponent. We might not be as good as the opposition but you are going to have to knock us completely out to stop us."

With an average home crowd of just 8,611 last term, Blackpool will be the smallest club in the top flight since the formation of the Premier League and Holloway admits the reality of the club's new status will probably not fully sink in until the start of the season.

"I don't know about being a Premier League club yet, but it feels real that we have done something special," Holloway said.

"That probably won't be apparent until we play against all these other teams with a lot more than we have got.

"I'm delighted for these people and these lads have deserved it. They have summed the club up really.

"No matter what has happened, if we've let a goal in, we've just carried on and carried on. We have won nine out of the last 11 games to get to this point and I can't tell you how proud I am of them."

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