Belfast Telegraph

Holloway takes painful blow

Ian Holloway emerged from the maelstrom of Blackpool's shattering defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday night complaining it felt like he had been kicked right where it hurts.

The Seasiders appeared to be on the brink of one of the greatest nights in their history when they led the Premier League leaders 2-0 at the break. But the second-half introductions of Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernandez turned the game on its head and with Dimitar Berbatov scoring twice in a frenetic finish, United emerged 3-2 victors to stride five points clear at the top of the table.

"We are absolutely gutted," he said. "We are devastated to lose. Tomorrow I will wake up and feel like I have been kicked in a very delicate place. I will have a horrible ache for a while and then it will be gone."

According to the Blackpool chief, the result hinged on a penalty decision that did not go his way as Luke Varney went down under a challenge from Rafael, who was later taken to hospital with concussion after taking a severe blow in an accidental collision with Marlon Harewood.

"We needed the penalty," said Holloway. "That would have really thrown a grenade into it. They might have come back but how can he (referee Peter Walton) not see it was a penalty?"

Inevitably given his corners led to both Blackpool goals, Holloway was forced to field questions about Charlie Adam's future, even though there has been no further development following the transfer request he handed in on Monday.

First, the Blackpool chief launched a broadside at Gerard Houllier, who himself had attacked Holloway, before outlining a rather stark scenario for the 25-year-old, who is keen to take up an offer to join Liverpool.

"I don't talk about other team's players," said Holloway. "Mr Houllier didn't do that. He said they had offered and we hadn't got back to him and Charlie is really good. What is that to do with him? How unsettling is that?

"Charlie knows I want the best for him.

"You have to work for what you want. I did. My dad did. He worked in a foundry, and Charlie will have to accept what we do."


From Belfast Telegraph