Win or lose, my Blackpool will put on a show says Ian Holloway
Friday 04 May 2012
They are surely the romantics' favourites to go up via the Championship play-offs, and Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has vowed that if the Tangerines earn promotion this season, it will be as the great entertainers.
Blackpool host Birmingham City in the first leg of their semi-final tonight, and Holloway insists there will be no change to the "We will try to score one more than you" policy which endeared his side to so many in the Premier League last season.
Holloway believes the play-off line-up has never been stronger, with Cardiff and West Ham completing a stellar foursome. He said: "I am totally excited. It is an absolute honour to be involved in what could be one of the best Championship play-off fights of all time. We have done brilliantly to get there – let's see what happens next.
"Someone has to win it – why can't it be us? I know we have to be at our maximum to do it but the boys are looking in fantastic shape. Let's hope it lives up to its billing and there are a lot of goals. That's what we'll be trying to do again – outscore the opposition and win.
"Perhaps we are not the laughing stock we used to be, so maybe people won't take us so lightly this time. But I still think most will have us down as rank outsiders. West Ham are a huge club. Cardiff have got massive expectations and have already got to a cup final this season. Birmingham have been a Premier League side for years and want to get back there. So all four of us are desperate to do it and may the best team win – it is going to be fantastic."
The Birmingham City goalkeeper Colin Doyle said the Blues have exceeded all expectations simply by reaching the play-offs. He said: "At the start of the season if you'd spoken to the fans and said we would get to the play-offs, they would have snapped your hands off.
"With so many players leaving and a new manager [Chris Hughton] coming in, it was tough – but we're delighted to finish in the play-offs and we've just got to push on now."
Blackpool (4-3-3): Gilks; Eardley, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey; Ferguson, Angel, Dobbie; Ince, Taylor-Fletcher, M Phillips.
Birmingham (4-4-2): Doyle, Murphy, Pablo, Davies, Ramage; Burke, Huseklepp, Mutch, Redmond; King, Zigic.
Referee M Halsey (Lancashire).
TV times Sky Sports 1, 7.30pm.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food