Ian Holloway rounds on Blackpool critics
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway believes his side are proving the critics wrong after they moved into the top half of the Barclays Premier League table with a 2-1 win over nine-man West Brom last night.
The Tangerines were widely expected to be the top tier's whipping boys after they won promotion via the Championship play-offs last term, with some pundits even suggesting they might not surpass Derby's lowest ever points total of 11 set three season ago.
But after just 10 games Holloway's side have already surpassed that target and the 47-year-old manager admitted he was revelling in showing up those who doubted his squad of relative unknowns.
"It's a wonderful situation to get a couple of points off our chest," he said after his side's first home win of the season.
"Ten points, the lowest points ever, we aren't going to be that team, so shut up the lot of you whoever wrote it.
"That's what I feel like. It's unfair. They judged us far too early. I think we're a good bunch of lads, we're a good team.
"I think we've got to improve, I think we'll try to.
"But that's 13 points in 10 games. They might be the only 13 points we get, (but) you said we were only going to get 10.
"Please don't disrespect us."
Blackpool's win was, however, helped by West Brom having two players sent off in the opening half hour.
Pablo Ibanez was unfortunate to see red when DJ Campbell fell easily under a challenge in the area after just 11 minutes, with Charlie Adam stroking home the resultant penalty.
The Baggies' task was then made even more difficult on 29 minutes when Gonzalo Jara recklessly launched himself into a terrible two-footed tackle that sent Luke Varney sprawling.
Varney got Blackpool's second with a tap-in just after the hour, but what should have been a comfortable evening thereafter was made difficult by a resolute West Brom side, who had been unbeaten in six league games beforehand.
Youssouf Mulumbu curled in a fantastic strike after 85 minutes and the visitors may have even nicked a point with Paul Scharner and Steven Reid going close.
Afterwards boss Robert Di Matteo was content with the battling spirit of his side, if not the result.
"It was a magnificent effort from our players, but it was just difficult when you are two men down," he said. "It's a big mountain to climb.
"The players handled themselves really well, it's a shame that we conceded the second goal because I fancied us to get a goal.
"That's what we did at the end and we nearly got the equaliser as well."
The Italian questioned the dismissal of Ibanez and said the club would consider today whether to appeal the decision of referee Michael Oliver.
"I think it was probably a penalty, but I wouldn't see why it was a sending off," he added.
"My player didn't tackle him or anything, he was goal-side. So I couldn't see why.
"The second one there is no discussion about it. It was a red card.
"It was a bad tackle, probably because of the frustration of the first one. He (Jara) made a challenge that he doesn't really have to."
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