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Mar, 7, 2011

Holloway: Torres not worth £50m

Ian Holloway believes striker Fernando Torres is a "fantastic bit of business" for Chelsea but is adamant the Spaniard is not worth £50 million.

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Torres is yet to justify his hefty pricetag after failing to score in a Blues shirt since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in January, but Holloway insists Torres is still a class act.

"He's a great player," Holloway said. "Is he worth that money? I don't think anyone is. Roman Abramovich has given it the old flex, 'Look at me!' Do I agree with it? No. Can I do anything about it? No.

"But if people are going to pay it, then he is. If someone wants to pay me £50m for my house I'll bloody sell it to him!

"I think they've bought a brilliant player. It just goes to show the gulf between what we're doing and what Chelsea are doing.

"We've already seen him here and he scored a brilliant goal against us [for Liverpool] so we've got to be on our game. Have a look at world football and tell me a better striker, whether he's in form or out of form.

"He's allowed to go out of form because he's still very young. I think he's still one of the best players in the world and Chelsea have done a fantastic bit of business."

Blackpool host the champions at Bloomfield Road on Monday night and Holloway believes the Seasiders can add another prized Premier League scalp to their growing collection by beating Chelsea at Bloomfield Road on Monday night.

With impressive home wins over Liverpool and Tottenham since the turn of the year, but with only two points currently separating them from the relegation zone, they could do with something similar against the Blues.

Following the 3-1 triumph against Spurs on February 22, Holloway's team were swiftly brought down to earth when they were hammered 4-0 at Wolves four days later - the same score by which they were defeated at Stamford Bridge back in September. Bouncing back with a win over the champions looks a tall order, but Holloway is convinced his players have it in them to upset the odds once again.

"We've talked about what went wrong at their [Chelsea's] place, and spoken about Wolves very quickly and then moved on because it is important not to dwell on things,'' Holloway said. "You can only do something about the next one and that is something we have handled really well. What we need is a response and who's to say we can't do to Chelsea what we did to Tottenham.''

He added: "If you look at the Tottenham game they had more possession, double the shots, but our finishing was lethal on the day. We need things to go our way and they will have to go better than they have ever to get three points off Chelsea. I believe we can get three points but we are going to have to be a tad fortunate and play the best we have played.''

Blackpool, promoted from the Championship via the play-offs last summer, have fared better in the top flight this term than many expected and with 10 games to go, remain very much in contention to beat the drop. The Tangerines have been through plenty of highs and lows in their maiden Premier League campaign and Holloway has described the experience as a "scary'' rollercoaster ride - although he insists it is one he is still enjoying as much as ever.

"We've had almost a full season in the Premier League,'' Holloway said. "I look haggard and jaded but I'm loving every minute of it. It has been absolutely fantastic and I'm proud of how we've tried to acquit ourselves. Some days it has gone horribly wrong, but I've kept my dignity, kept smiling. We are nowhere near as low as we should be - we should be off the chart, halfway up in the Championship.

"That's the truth, but we are riding this bubble of enthusiasm and on Monday we have one of the best teams in the land, in the country, in the world.''

Blackpool will be without their top-scorer DJ Campbell and captain Charlie Adam for Monday's contest. Campbell begins a three-match suspension after he was sent off at Wolves, while Adam serves the second of his two-game ban for picking up 10 yellow cards this season.

Defender Stephen Crainey, who has not made a first-team appearance since January 22 due to an ankle injury, is in line to return against the Blues and midfielder Elliot Grandin, absent for the last two games with a hamstring problem, has an outside chance of being involved.

However, the match will come too soon for Gary Taylor-Fletcher (hamstring) and Matt Gilks (knee).

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