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Premier League

Ian Holloway plots Blackpool's return to the Premier League

Ian Holloway intends to sit down with chairman Karl Oyston to plot a way out of the relegation mire Blackpool landed in yesterday.

Whilst Holloway's immediate reaction after the 4-2 defeat at Manchester United that sent them straight back down to the Championship was to question how many of his players he would be able to retain, Oyston was more concerned about his manager's future.

However, it seems Holloway will not be going anywhere.

All he is concerned about is getting a structure in place that will allow Blackpool to profit from their brief flirtation with the Premier League.

"I have a year on my contract and I am looking forward to talking with the chairman to see what he wants to do with his club, where it lies now and where we have gone back to," said Holloway.

"I am hoping it is not as far as when we started this season.

"Luckily I work for a chairman who won't sack me because I am rubbish halfway through the season.

"This game is completely mad but it is good to be me. I am not mad. I know what I am doing and where I am going."

Although no-one is pretending life at Bloomfield Road is going to be easy over the coming weeks, Holloway's words should at least offer Oyston some reassurance.

Charlie Adam, Matthew Gilks, David Vaughan and Gary Taylor-Fletcher might be on their way out but for as long as Holloway remains in charge, Blackpool have hope.

"The nature of the industry is that people always try and covet what you've got," Oyston admitted on Sky Sports News.

"I just hope that Ian doesn't get his head turned by a club that probably won't allow him to express himself the way we do.

"This is a work in progress, we have long-term plans to strengthen the business to make it viable and to be able to compete and challenge on the field as well.

"Ian has performed miracles ever since he arrived here and we will help him as much as we can to try and get back into the Premier League, because every manager wants to manage at the highest level they can."

The look on Holloway's face when he was informed Blackpool could be handed a place in the first qualifying round of the Europa League - which would commit them to playing their first competitive game on June 30 - suggested he would not be overly disappointed if the Premier League announced someone else had claimed the "prize".

"We need a break," he said.

"We came into this league late and the Championship starts a week earlier than the Premier League. These lads are running on empty."

How many of the lads are still at Blackpool on August 8 is a moot point.

The club have been trapped by a combination of the Premier League's demand for players to be told last week whether contracts would be offered, an obvious desire not to offer wages that would be unsustainable outside the top flight and a preference to avoid long-term contracts.

It is just one of many lessons Holloway has learned about life in the big league, the rules of which he believes are loaded against the smaller clubs.

"Lots of it didn't suit us," he argued.

"There are so many problems. I can only have two people on loan from the Premier League and Football League combined but I could have as many foreign under-21 lads as I like.

"I was at Blackpool. I never had a scout go abroad. What chance did I have? Was I supposed to sign people blind?

"I had to name a squad of 25. Then when I played them I got fined because they weren't good enough. What a joke."