Blackpool chief Karl Oyston wants to keep Ian Holloway

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
Holloway guided Blackpool back to the top flight for the first time since 1971

Blackpool chief Karl Oyston wants Ian Holloway to stay as boss even if they are relegated from the Premier League.

Despite an impressive start to the season, the Tangerines have slumped to lie 17th, above the drop zone only on goal difference, with three games left.

"Whatever happens we've had a fantastic season," Oyston told the Blackpool Gazette. "I certainly hope Ian will be manager here next season.

"Unless he's told you different, he'll definitely be manager next season."

Blackpool had a tremendous first half to the season and were eighth in the table at the turn of the year, having amassed 25 points from 17 matches.

However, only two wins - and 10 points - from 18 Premier League games since then has seen Holloway's side slide perilously close to an immediate return to the Championship.

However, Oyston pointed out: "It is still in our hands, which is a fantastic achievement by the manager and the team.

"I think we'd all have settled for it being in our hands with three games to go and the only time the league table matters is after the final whistle on the last day."

Blackpool's goal difference of -22 is only one better than 18th-placed Wigan, who are also on 35 points.

However, they face a tricky run-in with a trip to Tottenham on Saturday followed by a home game against Bolton and a final-day game at Manchester United.

Wigan face Aston Villa on Saturday before taking on relegation rivals West Ham and ending with a visit to Stoke on Sunday, 22 May.

The relegation scrap is far from a dogfight just between Blackpool and Wigan, though, with the two clubs beneath them breathing down their necks.

Wolves, in 19th place on 34 points, host West Brom on Sunday before travelling to Sunderland and hosting relegation-threatened Blackburn at Molineux on the final day of the season.

And bottom club West Ham, who have 32 points, play home games against Blackburn and Sunderland either side of the trip to face the Latics.