Ian Holloway: Adam's bottle should shut Shearer up

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The Independent Online

I am so pleased we got a point at Tottenham last night, and even happier it was my captain Charlie Adam who scored. What bottle the lad showed to convert a penalty a minute after missing one.

Charlie was slated last week on Match of the Day. Alan Shearer actually said he hoped the boy's chance hadn't passed him by. Come on Al. Yours might have because you're finished now, but Charlie is 25 years old and he has the potentialto be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He already is for goodness sake. He was on the six-man shortlist for the PFA player of the year. So what are you talking about Al? Give the lad a break. I've been a pundit for a while and you shouldn't come out with things like that.

It upset Charlie but my word how well did he bounce back? He, and the rest of my lads, were superb. The way my club handled itself in a pressure situation against one of the big boys... I am just so proud. Unfortunately we didn't get the extra two points but we created more than enough chances. We played better than we did when we beat them at home. We have taken four points off a side that made it to the last eight of the Champions' League. That is some going.

What we've now got to do is make sure in the last two games we keep that level. We have Bolton at home in what is going to be a humdinger of a Lancashire derby and, if we win, it will be one of the best Saturdays this great club has ever had. If we don't, so be it. We have Manchester Unitedon the final day and if they watched our game yesterday, then they will know nothing is guaranteed and that they're in for a right battle.



I love Marmite man Warnock

Some individuals, whatever industry they are in, get a reputation that sticks. Neil Warnock seems to fall into that category. Many people have formed an opinion about him based on little snippets they've seen or heard in the media. But it is stupid and unfairto judge someone like that, and it is wrong – Neil is a great bloke and an outstanding manager. His players love him and the job he has done at Queens Park Rangers is nothing short of miraculous.

OK, he hasn't always behaved in a way that looks nice on the TV but his managerial record is up there with some of the best in the world. He has earned seven promotions, and that makes him one of the most successful in terms of getting teams up, so judge him on that.

I am particularly pleased that he has taken QPR up because it is a club close to my heart. I took over as manager there 10 years ago and they were in administration at one point. I have always loved the place and it has been a joy to see what has happened this season. Neil deserves all the credit. He did not let the board interfere and there was no nonsense when it came to picking the team – Neil was the man in charge, no one else. He would not have it any other way.

I have met Neil socially on severaloccasions and he is completely different to the bloke you see on your screen. He is full of knowledge and is a charming man. The edge he has when he's in a dugout is only because he wants to win. All managers are the same, we just show it in different ways.

I accept that to the public he is probably like Marmite – you either love him or hate him, but I've always been a Marmite man and Neil is brilliant. I know how excited he'll be at having another crack at the Premier League and he will certainly add to the division. I just hope I'll be up against him twice next season, though that depends on the next two weeks.

I'm glad the Football Association have not punished the QPR players for an ownership issue that the League has known about for two years. The League could have said "don't play him because we haven't decided yet", but it's over now and it's good that the players have not been penalised and they can go up as champions.

I am a man of my word and I will not walk out on Blackpool

I could not help but chuckle when some newspapers linked me with the West Ham and Aston Villa jobs. Two years ago, when I lost my job at Leicester and I couldn't get back into football, there were certainly no stories in the Press. I wasn't wanted by anybody. It just sums up how odd football is. It is like clothes – one minute you are in fashion, the next you are out. I was out big-time.

I came back in at Blackpool and have just tried to build something, get a structure and stick to it, and it has worked. It worked a lot quicker than I thought – even I didn't think we'd go up last season. But I'm not going to complain and it has transformed all our fortunes; myself, the players and the club.

As for the West Ham and Villa stories, don't believe what you read in some papers. I honestly don't know where they get their tales from.

Let me categorically say, I would not walk out on Blackpool.

I left Plymouth mid-contract to go to Leicester and I've regretted it ever since – I won't make the same mistake again. I am contracted to Blackpool until next summer and I will be staying until next summer.

I love the club I'm at and I'd be happy to discuss a longer-term contract if the chairman wanted to talk.

I am a man of my word and I am going to stick to my word from here on in.



I'm a smoothie and a bit firmer

Do not be surprised if you walk into the newsagents, pick up one of those fitness magazines and see me on the front cover flexing my muscles.

That might be taking it a trifle too far, but I have been working out of late and I have got to say that I feel like a new man.

I always used to be jealous of those super-fit blokes on the front of Total Fitness and Men's Health. But for the last nine weeks, my wife Kim and I have been following a fitness programme and it has transformed our lives. We're in the gym four times a week and supping loads of fruit smoothies at home.

Where I used to have fat, I've now got no fat, and where there wasn't muscle, there's now... well, maybe not quite muscle yet but it's something a bit firmer!

I feel so much betterfor making the effort and I think it's going to stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. I want to be here as long as I can to see my kids grow up and to spend time with my grandchildren. If I'd carried on the way I was, eating the wrong food and not doing anyexercise, I might not have been able to that.



Welling up over Armfield

Why do we always wait until someone is dead and gone before we give them a bit of credit? I hate the fact that so many painters, even the greats like Van Gogh, had pretty wretched lives because their works of art didn't become well-known until afterthey died.

Football can be a bit like that in terms of statues. We only build them when the person has passed away. It's almost a case of "oh, they're not here anymore – let's build a statue so we don't forget them". It sums up Blackpool FC and its fans that we haven't let that happen here.

Our statue of Jimmy Armfield was unveiled last weekend and I'm almost filling up thinking about it.

The fans raised the money to pay for it themselves. They collected £75,000. In this financial climate, that is unbelievable.

It will make Jimmy immortal but the best thing was that he was the man to unveil it. He could see it because they have done it while he is still here and that for me was great.

Jimmy is a great man who I look up to. He is a total gentleman who has never said a bad word about anyone. He has fought cancer, and is still fighting all sorts of repercussions from it, but has never complained.

For Jimmy and the Armfield family to be able to see that statue while he is still here is fantastic.

This is why I think Blackpool Football Club is special and I am proud to be a part of it.

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