Ian Holloway hopes a change of scenery can inspire a change in fortunes for his Blackpool side as they look to end a run of four successive defeats that has seen them slide towards the relegation battle.
Holloway's side have been the surprise story of the Premier League this season but, although they look reasonably comfortable in 13th place in the table, they are only four points above the bottom three after their recent struggles.
Promoted clubs usually rely on their home form to keep them out of trouble, but for Blackpool the story has been somewhat different, as the only team in the division whose away record is better than their home performances. And, after not picking up any points from three matches in a row at home – most recently a 3-1 defeat by West Ham on Wednesday – Holloway cannot wait to swap Bloomfield Road for Everton's Goodison Park today.
"It's definitely more difficult to play at home in this division, for us anyway, and the results have proven that," he said yesterday. "Nearly everybody in the Premier League is very good at blocking you away from home and then counter-attacking. If you look at the stats [against West Ham], we had 21 shots and they had 11 but they scored three and we only got one. Our style is definitely counter-attacking, getting forward and having a go.
"People's home expectations against Blackpool put pressure on their team to attack us and that will leave space for us. We're just finding it a little bit difficult at home at the moment."
Blackpool's exuberance and positive approach to life in the Premier League have won them many friends and Holloway is determined that will not be affected by their form.
"What we've given ourselves is a great platform, with 28 points, to have a good crack at the last 14 games and try to get out of the sort of mid-season blues that newly promoted clubs get in," he said. "It's all about our energy and staying positive and trying to enjoy these challenges. They're wonderful. I wrote every game on the board, and what we'd have given last year to have a chance to play these games, it doesn't matter whether we're in a disappointing run, what the boys have done already is absolutely tremendous."
Blackpool head into today's match one point and two places ahead of their opponents, who have been held back by a poor start to the season and their 12 draws – more than any other team have had in the league. But Holloway, believes his team can learn from opposite number David Moyes' approach, saying: "I don't think they're inconsistent, I think that's this season. You can play really well and not get the rub of the green. I remember Dave looking really calm when they were down the bottom saying, 'We're going to need one to go in off someone's knee.'
"They got an own goal and a first win against Birmingham and it turned that around. No way should a team with the squad they've got be there but you could say that about a lot of teams this year. The new intake have come in and had a go and we've got a few points, which has really rocked the boat with everybody."
Holloway could be without captain Charlie Adam, who suffered a knock on his calf against West Ham, while David Vaughan (knee) is also a doubt and Stephen Crainey (ankle) definitely misses out.Reuse content