Belfast Telegraph

Holloway plays down discussion

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway claims reports of a dressing-room bust-up during last week's thrashing at Chelsea are exaggerated.

Holloway admits there were heated words but puts that down to a failure of tactics on his part. The newly-promoted Tangerines were 4-0 down at half-time at Stamford Bridge after adopting an unfamiliar defensive approach against the Barclays Premier League champions.

Holloway switched to a more recognisable style after the break and, although Chelsea continued to bombard their goal, they avoided further damage. The Seasiders manager said: said: "People are assuming it was an argument, a disagreement - it was not."

He continued: "It was people saying, 'We can't do this', 'We can't do that' or 'We should be a lot deeper'. I don't blame them, if they'd have sat there and not said a word I would have thought there was something wrong with my boys.

"Their egos were smarting. They didn't want to produce a first half like that but unfortunately they could do nothing to stop what Chelsea did to us.

"They had listened to me and it didn't go well so they thought they could say some things themselves. I soon put that right.

"I've got a proud group of lads who were smarting a bit. I had to shut them up and crack the whip a bit.

"For the second half I managed to calm them down, talk about what I felt, change the tactics and it worked, to some extent.

"I had to hold my hand up and I took full blame because I told them to do something that didn't work at all.

"I haven't seen that before or had to make allowances to track full-backs before and I will never do that again."

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