Holloway turns up the hot air to beat freeze

Blackpool are are confident tomorrow's Premier League match with Manchester United will go ahead as they contend with freezing conditions at Bloomfield Road.

The promoted club, who do not have undersoil heating, have their pitch under cover and are using hot-air blowers to ensure the televised game beats the weather. The temperature is expected to plummet to minus five degrees centigrade tonight but the Seasiders are working hard to negate its impact.

Their manager, Ian Holloway, said: "We are going to try to do everything we can. We have got something out there that looks like something from a fairground. I waited near it for 10 minutes to get a hot dog! It's the generator trying to blow hot air on it.

"We hope the game will be on, we want it to be. It would be very embarrassing if we can't get it on. We have tried. I expect the chairman is probably saying, 'How much?' but I can't ask for anything more."

The cold snap has forced Blackpool to abandon their usual training ground but Holloway this week turned down the opportunity to take the squad abroad to a warm-weather camp. Holloway said: "I actually had a choice of spending three or four days abroad and letting them train on some decent surfaces.

"The chairman agreed to do it and the club secretary had it all set up.

"I didn't think it would be the right preparation but it just shows how far we have come.

"We have stayed in the cold and trained on an artificial pitch."

Holloway denied recent press reports that he was planning to train on the beach but admits that could be a possibility.

He said: "We know it is an option if the grass it totally frozen. It is what they used to do years ago and it did them no harm whatsoever.

"Sir Stanley Matthews used to go down there every morning before training and do his own fitness routine. What a magnificent example of a human being that man was, so what is wrong with our lads going on the beach?"

Holloway confirmed that the club's midfielder Chris Basham has broken his leg and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 22-year-old, who has made just three first-team appearances this term, was injured playing for the reserves last week.

Holloway said: "It is not good news for him but it is not career-threatening. It is another setback. He is a young lad I paid a lot of money for in the summer and I was working him in two or three different positions. But there is a chance he could be back before the end of the season."

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