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Next

Horncastle: The end of the "Rafalution"?

Serie A about an hour ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 24, 2011

Hollaway hopes for springboard

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway hopes his team's last two results can provide the springboard for a decent run now they have put their losing streak well and truly behind them.

The Seasiders followed up a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa with an impressive 3-1 victory over Tottenham on Tuesday night to move five points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

Prior to that, a sequence of five consecutive losses had seen Blackpool slipping towards the mire, but with that run halted, Holloway now wants his players to put one together of a more positive kind.

"There is more confidence in everybody," said Holloway, whose side travel to Wolves on Saturday. "We can actually look at things now with a fresh viewpoint - that we can get a point at home, that we can get three points at home, and it doesn't matter who it is against.

"Hopefully that will set us off on another decent run, because we need one. It has been a monumental season, we are all enjoying it and it is Wolves away now. I think we'll go there relaxed and free, understanding that we can get some points.

"If we had lost again the other night (against Tottenham), if we had been beaten by Aston Villa, I understand what a drain it can be on your mental and physical resources. But we're not like that and we are feeling pretty good."

Spurs were brought back down to earth at Bloomfield Road, a week on from their famous Champions League triumph over AC Milan at the San Siro.

After the game Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp lambasted his team - who failed to convert a host of opportunities before Roman Pavlyuchenko's deflected consolation in stoppage-time - for their profligacy in front of goal.

Holloway feels the efforts of his own players during the contest should not be overlooked, but admitted the London outfit need to take a leaf out of Manchester United's book in terms of ruthlessness.

United came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Blackpool in January thanks to the sort of "lethal" finishing Holloway believes Spurs need to exhibit is they are to genuinely challenge for the title.

"Tottenham had probably five clear-cut chances, which isn't astronomical, but where we were fortunate was that my goalkeeper would save it and then it would drop to one of us," Holloway said.

"That was unusual - normally it would go to one of them and they would stick it in - but you can't belittle our performance.

"Obviously Harry knows the standard of his players, and whether their focus was absolutely spot-on in terms of finishing, or if they thought 'we can beat these', who knows?

"But Manchester United didn't do that to us - their finishing was lethal, and maybe that is the overall difference.

"For Harry's team to get there one day, which I'm sure they might, they need to come to a place like this, forget about the last place they went to and smash us as well."

One player not involved on Tuesday was striker Luke Varney, who has scored five goals for Blackpool following his loan move from Derby last summer, but not added to his tally since November.

Holloway revealed he had simply rested Varney for one game and is backing the 28-year-old to rediscover his form soon.

"I've had a chat with him and he's likely to be involved this weekend," Holloway said.

"I think there has been something on his mind and he couldn't possibly keep going to the standard he was playing at - it would be impossible for anybody.

"Everything he hit was going in, but I just wanted his enthusiasm and Luke can be a little bit of a worrier sometimes.

"So I've had a chat with him and taken that pressure off by sharing the responsibility out with some others.

"I'm sure he'll come flying back. He's been outstanding - to come from where he was into this level and do as well as he did is quite phenomenal.

"He looked very fresh and bright again this morning."

Seasiders captain Charlie Adam will sit out the Wolves match due to suspension, while Elliot Grandin and Gary Taylor-Fletcher (both hamstring) remain sidelined by injury.

Stephen Crainey is back in training following his ankle problem but it is too soon for a first-team return.

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