Today is the biggest day of my footballing career, the kind of moment I have dreamed about. We are playing Manchester United, the champions and one of the best teams in the world, and we need a result to give us the best possible chance of staying up. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up just thinking about it.
What slightly gets me is that everyone thinks we've no chance. I understand why they think that – the quality of the opposition and how small our club is in comparison. But have people not seen some of the results we've picked up this season? We're a good team, better than a lot of folk thought. Can we not have some credit for that please?
Probably not, because reporters are already asking my chairman Karl Oyston "will you sack Holloway if you go down?" Karl said "no", he's keeping me whatever. But I cannot believe that is being asked in the first place. We, little Blackpool, with a tiny budget, have 39 points in the world's best league. Regardless of which division we are in next season, do you think that represents a failure? If you do, I suggest you see a doctor.
The thing I am most proud of is the type of football we have played. We have tried to continue doing exactly the same as we did in the division below, despite everyone saying we couldn't. It has worked. We've got 10 wins when many said we wouldn't get 10 points.
There are many bigger clubs, with vastly bigger budgets than us, that in seasons gone by have done much worse than we have in this division – Sunderland, Portsmouth, Derby.
So I'm very proud of what we've tried to do, and I believe we are getting better all the time. The Bolton performance last week, for instance, was better than any other I've seen, so I am very optimistic.
I want our fans to realise that this team has been a long time coming. The fans haven't had it this good for 40 years and it might be another four decades before it's this good again, so appreciate it and enjoy it.
This group of players I have are very special and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I've had players give me effort before, but this lot have been outstanding.
You might think I'm crazy, but I think going to Manchester United, probably needing a result to complete our fairytale, is the ideal end to the season.
I wouldn't want to play any other side. I believe it's written in the stars for us to get a result and just think of the reaction if we do. This result and this season will be remembered forever more, not just in Blackpool but throughout the country.
What fills me with hope is how well we have played recently. Manchester United have already won the title. They've got the Champions' League to think about. Yes, they will be totallyand utterly professional, but I believe any team Sir Alex puts out isn't going to be that much stronger than Tottenham the other day, and we got a result there.
If we can get something at Old Trafford and it makes us safe then there isn't any better achievement. I'm not being funny. Because of who it is, where it is and the timing, there is no better achievement and it could be a bit special.
So instead of fearing it, we need to seize the moment and make history. We'd have all taken this moment anyway, even if it ends in tears.
What a day it is to be a Blackpool supporter. The last time we had United on the final day, at the start of the 70s, we went down anyway. I don't believe that is going to happen again. If it does, we'll have to accept it. Can you accept the worst it is going to be? If you can't, you shouldn't be in it. I can accept the worse. But I am anticipating the best it is going to be – that is a better way of looking at it.
Fingers crossed – I believe that we can do this.
We've had the Oscars and the Baftas, but here are the Ollies...
There are no shiny trophies on hand but, for what it's worth, here are my own awards for the season that was.
Best player It has been a strange season. Normally someone is miles ahead of the others but not this time. I'd go for Ryan Giggs, despite the fact he broke my heart at Bloomfield Road when he came on and changed the game – United coming back from two down with 20 minutes left to beat us. Giggs has dropped into the centre of midfield, he is 37, yet I don't think they'd have won the title without him. Best player in the Premier League for the last 10 years at least.
Best manager Tony Pulis. The success he has had at Stoke sends out a message that you don't have to be one of the fashionable big-boys to do well. One more win and they will finish top half. Getting to Wembley was phenomenal. As a manager he has a stat I find hard to believe – he has never been relegated. Trust me, that is some achievement.
Manager you'd like a pint with I deliberately switch on the TV on Saturday nights to listen to Mick McCarthy's interviews. If his team have played rubbish, he says "we were crap". With Mick, what you see is what you get. I'd have loved to play for him because you know where you stand. He did a great job in keeping them up last year and although it has done us no favours, I'm delighted it looks as though he's going to get them safe once again.
Best chant Our fans at Arsenal singing "we're going to win 7-6" when we were 6-0 down. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It has to be the most optimistic shout I've ever heard. There was a nice moment last Saturday against Bolton as well. They scored to make it 3-3 and I turned to one of our supporters behind the dugout and said "I'm glad I wore brown pants today!" I probably should have been more serious given the occasion but sometimes you have to try and make light of things.
Worst trainer Ian Evatt, because he constantly moans about my refereeing in training. He's always carping on but refs don't change their mind. Mind you, it's rich me saying this because I've had my fair share of strops at them. No one likes referees, do they? I feel sorry for them.
Worst dressed Me. I was wearing a suit jacket last week with a different cut on it. It was shorter at the back and the lads absolutely caned me for it. They were calling me Norman Wisdom. Having said that, did you see Brett Ormerod on Sky doing the play-off match the other night? He wore an unbelievable tie-and-shirt combo. He had on a very tight-fitting shirt with one of these really modern skinny ties with a stripe down the middle of it. He's 34. I'm not having it! He didn't even have a shave. Shocking.
Biggest rollocking Half-time in our home game with Wigan a few weeks ago. It was such a big game for us and I just didn't recognise my team so I literally went for it at the break. It was probably the loudest I've ever shouted. I knew what I was saying, it was controlled, but I said it in a way that was pretty aggressive and forceful to say the least. It wasn't the most pleasant half-time break the lads have had.
Worst journey The trip back from Fulham was dire – five hours on a coach after a horrible 3-0 defeat. But that was our tuning point. There were eight players on the coach. But only one member of my squad had asked for permission not to travel back on the coach, so where the bloody hell were the other 10? That resulted in a right bollocking for one or two and it was a turning point.
Proudest moment Last week against Bolton, because of the size of the result. The whole "Boy, did we need that!" feeling of the day. The first day at Wigan rivals it, though that wasn't so much proud as damn well surreal. We won 4-0 and were top of the Premier League, and it was just weird. Just a pity we didn't have a chance to really enjoy the moment – we got thumped by six at Arsenal the next week.Reuse content