Ian Holloway says Blackpool will need monumental effort against Birmingham

 

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway insists it will take a monumental effort from his players to preserve their slender npower Championship play-off semi-final advantage over Birmingham.

Curtis Davies' own goal in last Friday's first game is all that separates the sides going into tomorrow night's clash at St Andrew's.

Chris Hughton's Blues boast an impressive home record, losing only once on their own patch all season to leave Holloway convinced of the scale of the task at hand.

"It's going to take every ounce of everything we've got going down there with their crowd and their passion," he said.

"I needed a lead, we've got a very slender lead. We won the first game and I think that's a marker to them. We didn't beat them this year.

"I'm looking forward to it, I can't be worried. I'd be worried if we were not in this situation. I feel my team deserved it on Friday night."

The first leg was Blackpool's first win over Birmingham in five attempts and a marked improvement on their 3-0 league defeat in the midlands on New Year's Eve, where Holloway was sent to the stands for protesting against a red card shown to captain Barry Ferguson.

By contrast, the club boast superb play-off pedigree, having won their last 10 matches in the format.

A dramatic passage to the Barclays Premier League two seasons ago, courtesy of 2-1 and 4-3 wins over Nottingham Forest and a 3-2 final triumph over Cardiff, came on the back of successful 2001 and 2007 campaigns to earn promotion to the third tier and Championship respectively.

Holloway is relishing the prospect of extending that sequence having impressively rebuilt a squad shorn of key players such as Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and David Vaughan on the back of relegation last term.

"I've been a manager a long, long time and now I feel like I'm really enjoying this group as well," he said.

"I asked the other group to show me their understanding of what I wanted.

"They've got a massive pitch, we've got to go and try to play our game. Can we impose our game on them at their ground in the biggest moment of our lives?

"We did it before at Notts Forest, can this group emulate that? It will be one heck of an achievement if we do. All you can ask for is a performance."

Blackpool had to travel to the City Ground to complete the job against Forest, leaving Holloway unconcerned with regards to the perceived advantage of playing at home second, and he is primed for a memorable occasion.

"It's all set up for another great evening," he added. "It's not here, it's down there, but I don't think any of that matters.

"It will be a great night. I'm looking forward to it. The Brummie people love their football.

"Passion? You won't get better than there. It's absolutely brilliant."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us