Belfast Telegraph

Holloway ready for big kick-off

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway admits it has been a difficult summer but insists he is embracing the stresses that come with being a Barclays Premier League manager.

Since the euphoria of securing promotion in May, it has been far from a straightforward time for the Seasiders. Several key players have returned to their parent clubs at the end of loan deals and Holloway has struggled to bolster his ranks. There have also been reports of unrest, with some members of the squad believed to be unhappy at not receiving their promotion bonuses until a few days ago.

However, as the club confirmed the signing of four new players, Holloway made a mockery of the suggestion he was on his way out and said he was relishing the experience of preparing for a season amongst the elite. Asked if his summer had been frustrating, Holloway said: "No. Difficult, and have I had better summers? Yes."

He added: "But the opportunity to work and play at this level is what life is all about, so whatever stresses it brings, whatever differences it brings, I'm welcoming it."

Holloway described the relationship between himself and Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston as "absolutely fantastic", adding: "I came to work for him, I am still working for him and I am delighted to be working for him."

After seeing several potential deals fall through over the last few months, the Tangerines have sealed the quadruple capture of Craig Cathcart from Manchester United, Ludovic Sylvestre from Czech side Mlada Boleslav, Elliot Grandin from Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia and Malaury Martin from Monaco, and Holloway is hoping to add more faces before the end of the transfer window.

"I'll be much happier once I've got everybody that I'm after and these three represent the start," said Holloway, speaking at a press conference to officially unveil Grandin, Cathcart and Sylvestre.

"We've got Elliot, an exciting, forward-thinking player, and Craig from Manchester United - and I think I've got a bit of a bargain there thanks to Fergie (United boss Sir Alex Ferguson).

"He's been trained by them for the last five years and I want to give him an opportunity to play. And I've got Ludovic, who I've been trying to sign for the last year and a bit because I've seen him play, was excited by that and now I've managed to get him.

"I couldn't come out and tell all you people all these things because the complexity of the deals these days at this level is so scary it's unbelievable. But we've been thrust in it and I'm delighted to be having these problems."


From Belfast Telegraph