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Joker Holloway focuses on winning not losing

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Paul Fletcher | 07:09 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

At the City Ground

The breathtaking, stunning and historic 90 minutes on the evening of 11 May will, for most people, be political in nature.

For Blackpool supporters, they will refer simply to their team's 4-3 victory over Nottingham Forest.

The result takes the unfancied and unfashionable Tangerines to the Championship play-off final - and to within 90 minutes of the Premier League.

It is a victory not only for the Lancashire club, who claimed a 6-4 aggregate win, but also for supporters of numerous teams up and down the land who follow a team modest in size and resources but perhaps not in ambition.

To reach the Wembley finale, Blackpool inflicted defeat on a team that had not lost at the City Ground in their last 20 matches, who had won 14 of the last 15, and who had not conceded in more than 12 hours of football at home.

And they did it by playing with courage, ambition and bravery - a point that losing boss Billy Davies was dignified enough to acknowledge afterwards.

The Tangerines had the belief to travel to a Championship fortress and stick with a 4-3-3 formation. Despite conceding an early goal, Ian Holloway's team did not buckle, delivering a series of knockout blows as they scored three goals in nine minutes after the break.

DJ Campbell may not be able to play in the Wembley finalDJ Campbell may not be able to play in the Wembley final

Blackpool were the last team to win at the City Ground before Tuesday night, a 1-0 triumph in September. Holloway said he felt like a burglar after that match, but there was no apology needed after his team registered their fourth win against Forest this season.

DJ Campbell scored a hat-trick but he is on loan from Leicester and will not be able to play in the final if the Foxes overcome Cardiff on Wednesday evening.

Another loan signing, Stephen Dobbie from Swansea, came off the bench to create two of Campbell's goals and score another.

Huge credit must go to Holloway, not only for taking Blackpool to the final but also for transforming the mentality of a group of players that, despite the odd addition, is essentially the same squad that finished 16th last season.

"Life is about what you expect of yourself," said Holloway. "That is what I have talked to the players about."

This could be the defining season in Holloway's career. If he had become known more for his pithy, metaphor-heavy one-liners, then this season he has deliberately toned down the gags and let his side's results do the talking. That Blackpool have won eight of their last 10 games speaks for itself.

Holloway was slightly terse and chippy as he answered questions about the match. I suggested that he must be delighted with the result and was soon put in my place with the reply: "It must have taken a lot of thought to come up with that question."

The Blackpool boss railed against what he sees as a patronising attitude towards his club - the jibes about the three-sided ground and the awful pitch, the constant references to a team punching above its weight. He talked about the "occupational hazard" of being sacked and the changes he went through in the year he spent out of work before taking over at Bloomfield Road in May 2009.

"I watched a lot of games, especially at a higher level when I was out of management," he said. "I realised how much I love this job. And when I returned I got fed up with trying not to lose games or protect a draw. Now I just want to win games."

It was fascinating to listen to Holloway explain how his absence had shaped and altered him, made him more determined and yet less fearful.

Mixed in amongst it all were some excellent turns of phrase as Holloway explained how his team had "achieved something quite mega". He later added: "People think I am crazy but I am not."

Eventually the questions dried up and he left, not exactly looking cock-a-hoop, although he had talked at length about his pride in his team's achievement and allowed himself to wonder aloud about the prospect of his club playing in the Premier League.

No such daydreams for Forest boss Davies, who spent a sizeable chunk of the season telling anyone who would listen that winning promotion would not be a good thing in the long term. I guess you should be careful what you wish for.

Davies is a winner at Championship level, having reached a play-off final with Preston and achieved promotion with Derby. He will be bitterly disappointed that his team will not be at Wembley on 22 May.

His post-match media conference was classic Davies, his words dripping with meaning.

"I have got to say this club is not ready," said the Forest boss of the Premier League. "We would have had the youngest team in the Premier League, and that would have been a great worry."

Billy Davies in animated moodBilly Davies in animated mood at the City Ground

OK, so the play-off disappointment might actually be a good thing? The subtext to this is that Davies was sacked 14 games into his first season as a Premier League manager after taking Derby up through the play-offs.

"I wish the play-offs had come in December when we were balanced and fluent and had many round pegs in round holes. Tonight we looked disjointed and I have been saying this for a long time," he added.

This is all about the club's transfer acquisitions committee, which is headed by Forest's football consultant David Pleat.

Although it apparently acts on the recommendations of the manager, it is an open secret that Davies is not a fan. The Scot is not a manager who likes to delegate authority on such matters. It is the reason why he has disingenuously described himself as a hired hand, nothing more.

Forest were in devastating form through December and January, a decent bet for automatic promotion, but the loan spell of influential full-back Nicky Shorey ended towards the end of the January transfer window.

Davies was desperate to strengthen but the only player to arrive this year was midfielder George Boyd on loan from Peterborough in March.

It will be interesting to discover over the coming months whether a fissure has opened between manager and board over transfer policy.

Nevertheless, Davies' first season must be judged as a success. Now, having suggested that he is on a long-term project to take Forest to the Premier League, it would be interesting to see whether he can deliver on his pledge.

Forest were relegated from the top flight in 1999 and must wait another year to return. Blackpool have not been there since 1971.

"Our ticket is until the end of the ride," said Holloway.

The final stop is at Wembley. Quite how it finishes, we will soon find out.

You can follow me throughout the season at


  • Comment number 1.

    Congratulations to the mighty Pool!
    Ollie has been like a breath of fresh air at the club and has been getting the best out of the players at his disposal. Despite Baptiste's mistake last night, he has been one of the stand out players this season and credit has to go to the manager for injecting 'mega' belief throughout the squad. Players want to play for him, fans want to support him.

    Nice succinct blog - now where's that queue for me Wembley ticket???!!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Good blog Paul - Ollie's been a revelation for us and at this level confidence and belief is key. All of the seaside-barmy-army are still dancing after this result. It's been a tremendous ride so far and I hope teams still think we are 'plucky' or 'small'. It works to our advantage and the total attacking football we play is a joy to watch.

    Up the Pool!

  • Comment number 3.

    Absolutely fantastic! Ian Holloway has changed the mentality of the club and the results are there for all to see. What a fantastic manager (and seemingly a very nice man too)!

    I also understand why he got so upset during his interview on Sky - the constant putting down of the club is pathetic - lazy journalism. And speaking of Sky - it was interesting hearing everybody talk Blackpool up over the last couple of games, but where have they been all season? While Newcastle have had 20 or so matches shown live, Sky/BBC between them managed just one...

  • Comment number 4.

    COME ON BLACKPOOL!!!!!!!!!! I hope if Cardiff get through they thrash them as Cardiff should not be going up when they are on the verge of going bust

  • Comment number 5.

    Olly is one of the good guys and I really hope they make it all the way,as an old guy the thought of seeing Stanley Matthews 2 old clubs facing each other in the EPL would be great

  • Comment number 6.

    "it was interesting hearing everybody talk Blackpool up over the last couple of games, but where have they been all season? While Newcastle have had 20 or so matches shown live, Sky/BBC between them managed just one..."

    You and 22 other clubs in the league this season...

    Well done though Blackpool thank you again for giving me an East Midlands Derby next season :D

  • Comment number 7.

    Congratulations to Blackpool. As painful as it is, you've beaten us four times out of four this season and no one can argue with that, (even though you did nick the first victory). You deserve your place in the final & I hope you carry on playing the same style of attacking football to see off Cardiff or Leicester.

    From our point of view I hope people remember some of the great football we have played this season. Most if not all reds would have taken third place this time 12 months ago.

  • Comment number 8.

    That was going back to the days of 9 or 10 years ago when the Championship play off games were incredible entertainment.. like everything else I think the money involved has made them nervy affairs in recent years.. great game to watch.. Well done Blackpool..

    I can't stand this media adulation for Billy Davies.. Derby were not good enough for the Prem league when they went up but he had them beat every game before they had kicked a ball.. he covered his own back by saying it was too early instead of just going out and having a go.. letting players who havent been to that level before having a crack every game.. he plays up to his fans constantly and frankly I don't think he deserves his reputation as a good manager.

  • Comment number 9.

    I am finding myself wondering if this great team that everyone is talking about is really the team I have supported for so long. Surreal, is the term that springs to mind because Blackpool do not normally do this kind of thing.

    But we are there and we deserve to be.

    We have a team ethos and players with no little skill, combined with an effervescent manager that was chastened by his previous disappointment. Football has changed but my humble club, Blackpool, shows that there is still a lot of good in this great game.

  • Comment number 10.

    Congratulations to Blackpool, from a Cardiff City fan.

    I really hope that we get to the final tonight, it's going to be a nerve wracking affair!!

    If we do get to the final, I know that Blackpool will be the most supported team in the land by the neutrals. Understandable really as Holloway is one heck of a character and what Blackpool have done over the season is nothing short of amazing.

    If we weren't involved in the Play-offs then I too would be hoping for Blackpool to make it.

    Cmon Cardiff lets not mess up like we did against Stoke in 2002!!

    If we get through tonight then I feel this is our year.

    P.S. Please don't respond with any anti-Welsh malarky.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes, many congratulations to Blackpool and Ian Holloway. I have always liked Ollie. He's a character and has done a fantastic job since he took over at the 'Pool. I applaud him for it, even though he did walk out on my team Plymouth Argyle. I shall never forgive him for the way he left Plymouth. In hindsight he should have stayed at Home Park then maybe Argyle might be at Wembley instead of League One next season, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. Good Luck Blackpool in the Championship Final.

  • Comment number 12.

    What a night! Amazing to think we're 90 minutes from playing at Old Trafford and Anfield next season!

    Whatever happens it's been an incredible season but even the most pessimistic Blackpool fan must agree the momentum is with us and the Premier League beckons...!!!!

    If you want to learn the secrets to Ollie's coaching success, come and see him next month at Grass Roots Football LIVE

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm lost for words. Thanks Ollie and thank you Team Blackpool. The future is tangerine.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bloody brilliant, nice one of luck at Wembley!

  • Comment number 15.

    As a Derby fan, just loved it last night. I like Holloway anyway but doing it to Forest and Davies made it very sweet. Just need Cardiff to make sure Leicester don't get any further now!

    Blackpool would be worthy winners, brilliant achievement on their budget, have to say the same for Pearson at Leicester aswell really, even though I don't like it.

    Nothing against Cardiff as a club, but they've spent beyond their means with the likes of Chopra, and got into some trouble, so maybe not as deserving?

  • Comment number 16.

    Good luck in the final Blackpool, I hope you go up. The thought of Holloway in the Premier League and doing post match interviews on Match of the Day is exciting. You need to get him back writing on the BBC website, it will be a refreshing change from the nonsense Phil McNulty writes and Robbo "I think I'm so funny because I use northernisms" Robson.

  • Comment number 17.

    Would love to see Holloway in the Premiership, might lighten up some of the dour characters that pass as managers.

  • Comment number 18.

    I was there last night and Blackpool wanted it more. They didnt sit back on their one goal lead from the 1st leg and overall they were the better side and therefore deserved it. Having said that Pearch was poor so was McKenna and neither should have started.
    As a club Forest should be proud of what they've achieved over the season. We finished in far higher a position than Derby , Leicester and Sheff United. Derby should be ashamed of themselves having come down from the Premiership and clearly wasting their parachute payments.
    I look forward to Forest thrashing Derby and Leicester next season.

  • Comment number 19.

    Paul, the correct link for last season's Championship table...

  • Comment number 20.

    I live half a mile from Bloomfield Road and parking is a nightmare come match day as it is..
    Did I scream the house down watching the match last night... ??? Bet ya life I did.. Come on The Pool...
    If I can get a ticket I'll be there for sure.. but if this dream goes all the way.. when a certain MUFC come to town next season, things might get really complicated...
    The joys of football....

  • Comment number 21.

    The mind games of Ferguson, the facts of Benitez, the diamond gueezer of Redknapp, the blind spot of Wenger, the scarf of Mancini and the one-line, cliches of Holloway - here is hoping!

  • Comment number 22.

    It would be wonderful to see a traditional team like Blackpool back in the top flight of English football after an absence of almost 40 years.
    In fact Blackpool's last season in the old Division One was back in season 1970-71 but from the late 1930s to the mid-1960s they were always present in the top flight and they were runners-up in 1955-56 - the closest the club ever came to being League Champions.

  • Comment number 23.

    As a Forest fan, at the game last night, obviously gutted with the result but hey... well done Blackpool! You were brilliant with your "No surrender!" attitude. Best of luck in the Final Ollie's boys. Thanks to Billy and the Reds for a great season.

  • Comment number 24.

    Paul good Blog. I can't understand why The F.A. give these Play-Offs and Finals to Referees who are Premier League Refs all year. Why don't they give the games to those Referees who trudge around the lower Leagues all Season and are good enough to do all the lower League 46 games, rather than give all these special games to Referees who probably don't even know where some of these Clubs ground are? Surely the lower League Refs have earned these Honours.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm a lifelong Evertonian, but Blackpool born and bred, leaving 30 years ago. I was at Bloomfield Road on Saturday - the first time I've been back since scoring the winning goal in a cup final as a 12 year old! The ground has changed a bit...well, 3/4 of it! I didn't dare hope for a victory then, let alone last night. It's like some sort of alternative reality. I'll be at Wembley too - you can take the boy out of Blackpool......

    And it's great to see Gnashers doing so well. I remember cheering him on as the teenage captain of Everton's reserves and being disappointed he "hadn't made the grade"...he has now! Shame for the 'Pool that Seamus will be "going home" next season.

  • Comment number 26.

    Just like to say a big well done to Blackpool, and an even bigger good luck for the final. I see a few similarities between Blackpool and my team Hull, we were never considered candidates for Promotion but made it through the playoffs by playing attractive attacking football.

    If you do go up, get prepared for patronising commentators and clueless pundits, no doubt your kit will be called orange, not tangerine as ours has been orange not amber, get prepared for Wenger to moan at your style of play simply because you don't try to steamroller them...just don't make the financial mistakes we made and you'll be ok!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Now then,

    Thanks for the comments. It really is hats off to Blackpool for the way they went at Forest last night. As Mikey (post 8) pointed out, it was a bit old skool; full-on attacking football without the fear that often spoils big games.

    Rereading the blog this morning (which I always do with a slight sense of trepidation after I have written something very late at night) it occurred to me that I did not even mention Charlie Adam, who has been Blackpool's stand-out player this season. He didn't have his best game on Tuesday but that just shows that Pool are no one-man team.

    Looking at the comments it does seem that Forest fans have been pretty gracious in defeat. Holloway made that point, saying they deserved great respect for clapping his players after the final whistle.

    I'd be keen to know what Forest fans think if Davies's first season in charge.

  • Comment number 28.

    It has to Leicester Blackpool then we can kick his useless backside as payback for taking us to the third tier for the first time in our history!

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Paul, in response to your request to know what Forest fans think of Davies' first season in charge I thought I'd give you my view...

    Overall its been fantastic - we've exceeded many fans expectations with the results we've had and also we've seen some of the most asthetically pleasing football since Paul Hart took us into the play-offs in 2003.

    With Davies in charge we've been blessed with more media soundbites and quotes (albeit many repetitive) that filled us Forest fans with optimism and a no-nonsense approach we've lacked for years.

    On the flipside though Davies' straight talking has left many Forest fans at odds with the boards approach as well as Billy's own attempts to manipulate public perception of the board/acquisition panel through the media.

    On one hand us Forest fans like him pushing the rest of the club to step up to the mark as he has clearly done in getting the results on the pitch but listen to him alone and you'd think the so called acquisitions panel have let him down and that the board don't trust him to take care of the buying and selling.

    Listen to David Pleat and its much ado about nothing ( and all transfers only go through with Davies' approval.

    Ask any reasonable Forest fan and you'll realise that we bought 9 players in the summer and not a single one was a leftback - the source of many of our bad results this season! Nicky Shorey only highlighted what difference it can make to results and how much better we looked with a recognised player in Dec/Jan as you noted yourself.

    (for those who don't know, we've only one left back at Forest, Julian Bennett, and he's been injured since before last summer and it was always known he'd be out until next season).

    Now to have Billy Davies seemingly posturing over his future it does nothing but annoy fans and begin to prove right all those Derby and Preston fans who warned us that he's only in it for his own personal glory.

    A week ago Davies pleaded for loyality ( so on one hand he's frightened of losing his job but on the other he act's like he can pick and choose!

    Its the most counter-productive behaviour he could do... surely it just re-enforces the boards thoughts that you can never give any single manager too much control because as with Billy Davies, who's seemingly not publically committing, they might only interested in themselves and can walk/be tempted out at a moment's notice - as he's previously shown.

    Davies says he wasn't backed in January but we went for Shorey who rightly so held out until the last moment for a Premiership club, Victor Moses who went to a Premiership club, and Pratley from Swansea who were promotion rivals. This led Forest fans to think, a. we were never going to get them anyway so why weren't other targets pursued and since Davies identifies the targets who's really to blame? and b. do you want to throw money hand over fist to secure certain players with the current financial climate in football?

    The irony now is that the one club to knock us out of the playoffs is Blackpool who apart from Charlie Adam haven't spent much, don't pay much, and consist of lesser known players who've been coached into a side capable of winning a shot at the big time! Mmmm so maybe it isn't just about who you can buy?!

    Billy - if you stay, which we generally all want you to, can you at least be a little more positive and show more appreciation for being in charge of a club which can make you a premiership manager AND keep you as a premiership manager. How about saying you'll train and teach "this young squad of ours" (his favourite quote) how to play and win rather than just wanting to buy the top three players in the league during each transfer window until we do!!

    So all in all... I think us Forest fans are more than happy with the season but we've overlooked certain comments in light of good results and performances. Next season in a weaker championship, Davies (if he stays) will be expected to get us automatic promotion - if it doesn't go so well it'll be interesting how much fans put up with his "other side"!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Defeat for Forest may turn out to be a godsend, as promotion this season would've meant a complete rebuild would be needed to make them anywhere near capable of survival in the Premier League. Now they need to prepare the squad over the summer and they can make a genuine title challenge next season. As for Blackpool, nobody knows what to expect from them, so if they go up (which I'm hoping they will) they'll have some money to spend but the advantage of having the rest of the Prem needing to try to guess their next move could be enough to keep them up. I didn't rate Stoke in the league when they came up a few years ago and saw them as a club in much the same light as Blackpool, so with a tight knit squad and their attitude they should be able to do a job.

  • Comment number 31.

    why is holloway not been mentioned in the mix for the west ham job, he has shown he is a quality manager, whoes post match comments on match on match of the day would brighten everyones night ????????????

  • Comment number 32.

    What fantastic news, first of all Congrats to a super Mngr & a super team,
    the good news for me is that I may be able to watch Blackpool on tv after 44 years, I last saw B'pool play in 1957 at Bloomfield Rd with my Dad, just
    before I joined the RN, we had moved to Blackpool from Bolton in'47, so I had the privelege of watching them in the Golden Years & of course my hero was Sir Stan, my parents had a boarding house in Yorkshire ST, next to the
    Lifeboat Inn pub, so it was only a 20 min walk to Bloomfield Rd, I remember passing Stan Mortensens Sports shop everyday on my way to school, its difficult to be a Fan when you live in Brasil (since '74) & before that in Ozzie for 13 yrs as you can only read about the team in newspapers, & of course on the web, so to be honest I'm a MU fan mainly because I can watch 90% of their games on cable tv here & they are the best team in the NW (if not in the UK), but if they make it through to the Premier League they will have some of their games shown on cable next
    season which will bring back some happy memories & make a 70 yr old codger very,very happy. So I will be cheering the seasiders on from afar on the big day, SO GIVE IT ALL YOU'VE GOT LADS & BEST OF LUCK.
    Cheers to all in Blackpool / Derek Ball

  • Comment number 33.

    Congratulations to Olly, I hope he is given the credit he deserves. I also hope that he sees Blackpool as a long term project, whether they go up or not. I'm not a Blackpool fan I just like to see teams progressing by what they achieve by hard work on the pitch and not because of a wealthy owner.

  • Comment number 34.

    Congratulations to Holloway and the team.

    Arsenal fan, but tuned in to watch the first leg and it was gripping stuff. Unfortaunely missed the majority of the second leg, but i doubt there's anyone that would begrudge Holloway a good result.

    During his interview on Sky after the game it was apparent that he's fed up with the tag of being a bit of joker. You can't knock what he's achieved.

    Hope to see you next year - fancy another go on the Big One!

  • Comment number 35.

    Not more than another fairy tale for one season. With low attendances at Blackpool even for the first play-off semi, hard so see how the club could anything positive to the PL at all apart from filling their coffers for next season and receiving parachute money for four years thereafter.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yeah - lets stick to the same old teams in the premier league - that'll be fascinating stuff.

    With respect to Newcastle, it just made it different. Much like Man City, Spurs and the like fighting for 4th spot - next season should be very interesting indeed at the top.

    You dont need crowds to do well - they've shown that already.

  • Comment number 37.

    As a Leicester fan I hope we go up, although i can't see us getting past Cardiff tonight. I think Holloway is a great man and manager but for whatever reason it just didn't work out for him at Leicester.

    So, in short if Leicester don't go up i'm backing Blackpool all the way.

  • Comment number 38.

    Thanks Paul, I'd been wondering why Forest had signed such a gifted playmaker (George Boyd) and then insisted on not playing him. This article seems to provide an answer. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think Forest have had a great season and must be considered to have over-achieved. The real test for BD will be next seson, can he move up a gear. I confess I'm not a fan of his ranting style, he reminds me of Warnock who used to manage my team, but I don't doubt either of them where passion for the cause is concerned. I do have a suspicion that BD is still psychologically scarred by his last Premiership experience and that there's a ghost there to be exorcised?

  • Comment number 40.

    Hmm, Blackpool against Leicester would be a very tasty final. I would love to know what Holloway would make of the prospect of playing Leicester. His time there was a big disappointment, as all Foxes fans fully understand. If he has been rebuilding his reputation this season, then playing his old club at Wembley would be a great stage to prove a point or two.

  • Comment number 41.

    Whatever King Billy has said this season, out of the four teams to reach the play-offs we (Forest) are by far the best club equipped for the Premier League; Best stadium (taking into account history and capacity), most financially sound club, most strenth in depth, club with most funds for next season, youngest and up and coming squad with future England internationals, and the list goes on. I was at Bloomfield Road on Saturday and was shocked at how terrible and unsafe the away 'stand' was. Whenever anybody jumped around the wooden floor supported by metal contruction actually shook and wobbled. Heaven forbid a club such as Blackpool with such a poor support (they could not even fill their less than 15,000 capacity stadium for their biggest home game in over 40 years) and ridiculously terrible pitch and facilities actually reaches the Premier League, something which I believe on the whole they do not deserve. And rest assured, this is not just sour grapes, it would be a lot better for the Premier League in terms of income, attendances and competitiveness, if the winner of the other semi-final, preferably Cardiff, won at Wembley on May 22nd. Put that in your cone hat and smoke it Mr. Holloway!!

  • Comment number 42.

    "... we (Forest) are by far the best club equipped for the Premier League; Best stadium (taking into account history and capacity), most financially sound club, most strenth in depth, club with most funds for next season, youngest and up and coming squad with future England internationals, and the list goes on..."

    Its just a pity your team weren't up to it against a far superior Blackpool side, on four occasions this season. Cheer up mate! We might be playing you again next season. And beating you again. Up the 'pool.

  • Comment number 43.

    First off, well done the Pool. It has been along time since Blackpool fans have had something to shout about. The reason Blackpool have done so well is simple, they have been the under dogs all season. This has given them the edge, by that i mean they have gone out and played. Ok some of their games you can say were luck more than skill. But all sports have some luck or even bad luck. Right tonights game, now its along time since i was at a game and in fact since i was in England but i thought away goals count if the game is drawn. If that is the case why is there extra time or can someone tell me when it changed.

  • Comment number 44.

    Coaches to Wembley for hire @

  • Comment number 45.

    Well i thought we may have been playing the foxes, oh well. I have read most if not all the comments on this page and i found a few complaining about the coverage or lack of coverage by SKY and others.....i live in the USA moved from Blackpool when i was young but always check the FT scores. I would like to compain about the good old BBC.......where are the semi final photos from Tuesdays night game......i cant find any......Oh i get it like the rest they thought it was a sure thing NF would win so why bother.....I may be wrong on this so can someone across the water guide me in the right direction so i can veiw some photos.

  • Comment number 46.

    "(Forest) are by far the best club equipped for the Premier League; Best stadium (taking into account history and capacity), most financially sound club, most strenth in depth, club with most funds for next season, youngest and up and coming squad with future England internationals, and the list goes on"

    aye pal, if football was like that you's wouldn't have won the european cup final in '79 and '80! things like Forrest and Celtic winning the european cup (and hopefully blackpool getting to the prem) are what make football the best game in the world!!

    Blackpool deserve to get to the Prem! We've beat the best this league has had to offer and we'll shake the hell out of the top flight! What Holloway has done is amazing and he deserves it more than Billy (moany balls)Davies!!


  • Comment number 47.

    @35 and 41

    Great to see the predictable negative comments about a 'lower' club actually having a shot at the big time. If that view of football was the accepted one then we may as well cancel all promotions, or at least make the move and cut the Premier League adrift now because there is a chance an 'unworthy' club will get promoted.

    Not so long ago football used to be about how good you were on the pitch. Not about how much advertising you could sell, how much TV interest you generated, how good a marketing tool you were going to be for Sky. All that mattered was what you saw on the green in front of you. Blackpool have played that way, from what I have seen, nearly all season. Attacking, honest football in spite of an awful home pitch and an incomplete ground. The team and supporters are the important thing and the evidence says that both have been outstanding this year despite the adversities of a half built stadium and a less than overflowing budget behind the club. The attendances might not be that of Newcastle but why does that matter? If the team are good enough then they will finish up in the position they deserve to be. Forest weren't good enough this year and their more clued up fans, who thankfully seem to be in the majority, have been saying that. I have been impressed with how the majority of Forest have taken the knock back on the chin and given a soundly judged view on things. I think most people can see the potential at Forest as they have some cracking young players coming through and a great stadium and support base, but for whatever reasons (managers ego, inexperienced players, lack of cover for key positions) it didn't come off this year. It's only the minority of sadder Forest fans who seem to be braying about how a 'smaller' club like Blackpool shouldn't be allowed a seat at the top table.

    I think some people need to think a bit more about the game of football and less about the business machine this sport has become. If Blackpool go up yes they might well have one season in the sun but who has the right to deny them that? This is the sort of thing that makes all those clubs in the lower leagues keep playing. And don't forget, without all these 'lowly' clubs the whole game would be ruined. Maybe, Chris H, you want to put that in your comedy jesters hat and smoke it?

  • Comment number 48.

    Every team big or small has the chance to make the big league, look at fulham 15years ago no one would have thought they will be a more of a famous club around the world than forest. Blackpool deserve this and would like to wish them the best of luck.

    I was a big lover of Billy before 2010, he has the best job out side the premier league growing a great young squad for players, spending over 15mil in a season on new players, having the board giving him there 100% and most of all having the forest fans behind you. when is anything good for him? Before the Darby game we was looking like a team that was going to win the league only for the manager to turn around bluntly and say "this team is not ready for the premier league" and start demanding new signings. which the board went off and tried for him. Shorly was leaving so we needed a defender but Billy went out for another attacker. by the sounds of his last few interviews he is making a call out cry to any club listing come and get me. he talks of his unhappiness, needs time to think about his job and most of all keeps telling of his achievement about always making the playoffs. Well Billy if we are not good for you there a few mangagment vacances at Hull, portsmouth and maybe Cristal palace that will bring you down to earth abit.


  • Comment number 49.

    What an amazing season! As a season ticket holder for 25 of my 31 years I have seen some really dark days at Bloomfield Road and can't honestly say I ever expected us to be where we are. Our success this season has been no fluke though as we have produced some outstanding football. The general opinion of journalists has been to either totally ignore us or to claim that we are a one-man team (Charlie Adam). Whilst nobody underestimates the value of Charlie to our side the performances of the likes of David Vaughan, Keith Southern, Ian Evatt and Alex Baptiste have been crucial, as has the 4-3-3 formation and Ollie's commitment to attack. It is lazy and disrespectful to criticise Blackpool for our stadium, fanbase, pitch (which was in fine condition until the harsh winter, including when we beat Newcastle) etc. Perhaps people may wish to focus on a club that in the last ten years has risen from the bottom division, redeveloped 3/4 of a dilapidated stadium and is now on the verge of the Premier League without ever taking serious financial risks, unlike many others who have mortgaged their futures on reaching the promised land, spending way beyond their means.

    I've always been proud to support my home town club but never more so than today. Thankfully prizes are handed out for football performance at the end of the season rather than average attendances or quality of stadia! I hope we can get that final huge prize next Saturday. Blackpool till I die! Come on you Pool!

  • Comment number 50.

    I think it would be fantastic if Blackpool could get into the premier league. Just one question though, if the staudium isn't so great would they be allowed into the premier league?

  • Comment number 51.

    sorry 28 it's cardiff lol and dj WILL play yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea
    go pool go all the way now , it would do the club a world of good .

    UP -------------------THE POOL---------------------------- FROM CANADA.

  • Comment number 52.


    UP THE POOL -------FROM ---------CANADA


  • Comment number 53.

    oh bye the bye good blog paul.


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