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May 6, 2011

Holloway: I'm going nowhere

Ian Holloway has pledged his future to Blackpool even if the club gets relegated, leaving West Ham's pursuit of the Tangerines boss all but over.

• Match Preview: Tottenham v Blackpool
• Keegan: Blackpool relegation would be big loss

Holloway has been tipped to take over from Avram Grant at Upton Park but he insists he will see out his contract at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool are fighting to avoid the drop but, should they fail in their survival bid, they will be buoyed by the fact their manager has no plans to jump ship. Holloway left Plymouth for Leicester in 2007 but he insists he has learned the importance of loyalty.

"I had a contract at Plymouth, I walked out on it and I will never do that again," he told the Daily Mirror. "I've got a contract here for this year and next year, and I'm delighted and very proud to be a very small part of a magnificent football club.

"I saw it again the other evening - the statue we have outside now of Jimmy Armfield. This is an amazing club with an amazing history, and I like to feel that I have added to that. I've got a great relationship with my chairman [Karl Oyston], who will choose when I'm not here anymore. I wouldn't have signed my contract for the length that I did if I wasn't totally intent on seeing it through.

"I'm certainly never, ever going to bite the hand that feeds me. I make mistakes once and learn from them, and that is what I have done."

Holloway, meanwhile, has fast-forwarded to Blackpool's final game of the season against Manchester United, revealing that Sir Alex Ferguson told him he would "play myself against you" if his troops have wrapped up the title by then.

Holloway, who phoned Ferguson to congratulate him after United's Champions League performance against Schalke, said: "We got chatting, and he asked who have you got next - so I mentioned Tottenham, and Bolton, and said, of course, we finish up against you. I said I hoped they'd have the title wrapped up by then, and he said, 'If we have, I'll play myself against you, my old son!'

"I'll hold him to that - although one of the members of my staff saw him play in Scotland, and he said the way Sir Alex's teams play are a mirror of the way he used to go about it, the same energy and enthusiasm."

Holloway has urged out-of-sorts club captain Charlie Adam to keep things simple over the remaining weeks of the season.

''He's that important to us that if he plays well, we play well,'' Holloway said. ''But luckily some of the lads, particularly in the last two games, have raised their level and made up for him not being quite up to his normal level.

''It will always be difficult for Charlie to be able to play to his level and stand out. What he has got to do is make sure he plays simply, quickly, nicely and neatly, and forgets all these shots from the halfway line because that is not really going to help anybody when you are not on form. That's not the way to get back in the game.

''We have spoken about it and I've put on some training this week for him and the rest of them to get it into their minds what is important. For 75% of the time you should be playing it nice and simple to your team-mates and 25% of the time you should be looking for a long diagonal if one is on.

''At the moment I would suggest that he is getting that balance slightly wrong.''

Although acknowledging it would be unrealistic to expect the 25-year-old to maintain his performance level throughout the entire season, Holloway insists Adam is not undroppable.

''He is a great player, a great lad and he's allowed to be not totally on top form sometimes,'' Holloway said. ''But if he goes too bad I might leave him out. I've got some other people here who are probably thinking 'are you ever going to do that?' So I'll have to think about that.''

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