'Holloway is manager of year... if Blackpool stay up'

Blackpool 0 Stoke City 0

Perhaps there was an element of bias. Tony Pulis has known Ian Holloway since they were "12 or 13" but, should Blackpool survive, he argued there was no question who should win the title of manager of the year.

"If Blackpool stay up, you have got to give it to him," said Pulis, whose achievement of taking Stoke to the first FA Cup final in their history also makes him a candidate.

"There is such a big difference between those who have and those who haven't in this country. We never look at that and we should do. There are clubs with millions to spend who can pay players £100,000 a week and then you have the likes of Ian with the smallest budget in the Premier League."

The members of the League Managers' Association, who vote on the award, tend to look beyond silverware. Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger are the only recipients in the 17 years it has been running to have won trophies. Usually it has gone to the likes of Roy Hodgson at Fulham, Steve Coppell at Reading or George Burley at Ipswich – men who have achieved remarkable things at small clubs with small money. None has had as little as Holloway.

The question, though, is whether Blackpool, who have not won a match since beating Tottenham here in February, will survive. In the desert every puddle seems an oasis and Holloway thought that Kenwyne Jones's bizarre miss, screwing horribly wide with the goal at the mercy of the Stoke striker, might be a turning point.

"Who is to say luck hasn't turned at the right time for us," he said. "Maybe fate has twisted things for us to get away with it?" Then Holloway ran through Blackpool's three remaining fixtures.

First, Tottenham away: "They will be under huge pressure from their fans to beat us – and that suits us; we have always played better away from home." Then, Bolton by the seaside: "Stoke beating them in the FA Cup has hit them a little bit." And finally, Old Trafford: "You never know, their season might be focused on a huge, huge match at Wembley and they might already have won the title."

There are flaws in there, of course. Bolton's response after their disembowelling by Stoke was to end Arsenal's title challenge and in 2009 a Manchester United side that had already won the league and fielded a reserve side at Hull to prepare for a European Cup final against Barcelona still won 1-0.

"But I do think keeping Blackpool up would be a bigger achievement than getting us here in the first place," he added. "I met Steve Bruce and Mick McCarthy at a managers' get-together in Leeds the other week and both said it was their best ever achievement." And both had more money.

Substitutes: Blackpool Varney (Phillips, 72), Kornilenko (Taylor-Fletcher, 73). Stoke City Shotton 6 (Wilkinson, 56), Carew (Delap, 81), Diao (Pennant, 90).

Man of the match Evatt.

Referee M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance 16,003.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam