Ian Holloway says Blackpool will need monumental effort against Birmingham
Tuesday 08 May 2012
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."
Latest in Sport
Brighton vs Arsenal: FA Cup match preview
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners