Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has urged his players to keep their heads after scoring goals in the Premier League – by taking longer to savour the moment. The Seasiders continued their impressive start to the season with a 2-2 draw against Everton on Saturday in which they led twice, only to let in a swift equaliser on both occasions.
Having been promoted via the Championship play-offs in May, Blackpool are playing top-flight football for the first time in almost 40 years and although they have defied expectations by taking 14 points from their opening 11 League games, Holloway can see his team is still getting used to the feeling of mixing with the elite.
Asked what he thought they needed to do to ensure they did not concede too soon after scoring, Holloway said: "Take longer to celebrate to be honest! I've looked at it and we were far too excited. We rushed back and things had kicked off again within 30 or 40 seconds, whereas I've looked at what Blackburn Rovers did and they took two minutes and settled themselves right down when they beat us [2-1 at Bloomfield Road].
"I think that is still inexperience at this level, where you're over-excited because you score. I said to them after, 'I'm expecting you to score now – why shouldn't you score? Why are you excited about it so much? Let's make sure we don't concede'.
"I'm not sure anyone could have stopped Everton's first goal though, it was a brilliant move. That is this level, and all I'm pleased with is the level of football we are producing. I'm very pleased for the lads and as the weeks and months go on, hopefully they will gain more confidence and stay calm in situations. I want them to be excited and enjoy themselves, but I want them to then get back down and concentrate. At any one given second in any game at this level, someone can do a fantastic bit of skill and score a goal."
Blackpool travel to Aston Villa tonight knowing they might have been even higher than their current mid-table position had Marlon Harewood's late effort against the Toffees not been disallowed for an apparent push.
Refereeing decisions have come to the fore in the last few days after Stoke manager Tony Pulis, who on Saturday saw his side denied a penalty in a 2-0 defeat at Sunderland when Lee Cattermole appeared to handle Kenwyne Jones' header on the line, called for the introduction of a system where clubs get to grade referees, with those receiving the worst marks "relegated".
Pulis has also voiced his support for the use of goal-line technology and Holloway thinks it is "common sense" that such changes are brought in. "We just all want it to be right – how must Stoke fans feel?" he said. "All you're hoping at the moment is that all these wrongs balance out, but what if they don't? I'm just saying use common sense, use the technology and I think it would solve itself.
"The public don't want to hear us rant and rave. They are sick and fed up of hearing me talk about referees – what do I know? All I do know is that the people at the top of the game are not running it right.
"Human beings are making errors and we are judging them with machinery, but we won't let them use that machinery to make the right decisions. You've got to be a fool not to do that, so why don't we do it now?"