Ian Holloway claims it is only just beginning to dawn on him what an unequal fight his team face to stay in the Premier League.
Stripping the emotion away from a heartbreaking defeat by Manchester United at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night, when the Seasiders looked set to enjoy one of the greatest nights in their history, the brutal truth is Blackpool have now taken just three points from six games.
A terrible January leaves them hovering six points above the drop zone, a perfectly adequate state of affairs given bleak pre-season expectations, but worrying none the less as the pressure starts to mount. Added to the mix are continued uncertainty over captain Charlie Adam and the difficulty Holloway is having in bringing new faces to the club, so clearly the task of guiding Blackpool to safety is not going to be easy.
"If you knew where we are and where everyone else is, we shouldn't be doing this," Holloway said yesterday. "I am just a fresh-faced learner but I am starting to find out what other people are paying. I am absolutely gobsmacked. I want my lads to get the same one day – but it has to be the right day for this club."
Former Arsenal player Jérémie Aliadière is a confirmed target but Holloway last night announced a hitch in that deal, which he would like to get sorted before enjoying a short break in Chorley of all places.
"I am trying to do some business but the difference between us and Manchester United for instance is quite frightening," he said. "I have been reading Patrice Evra is out of contract next summer. He is getting old so Sir Alex might have to sell him. Then it says his two potential replacements are this bloke and that one. Easy. No wonder he doesn't look stressed like me."
On Adam, Holloway said: "I can understand him wanting to move but we have a duty to run this club properly. Any player can get bought. You have to replace him. The transfer window closes on Monday, so would it be good business to let him go?"