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Page last updated at 20:52 GMT, Saturday, 13 November 2010

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway demands selection freedom

Defiant Holloway stands by changes

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway believes he should be free to choose any player from his 25-man squad after making 11 changes for the 0-0 draw at West Ham.

Holloway threatened to quit last week if fined for fielding a weakened side in Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Aston Villa.

He stated his team always aimed to win, the 47-year-old said: "The new rules should let me pick whoever I like.

"I have got some good players. Because you don't know them and you have not seen them, don't judge. How dare you?"

The Seasiders opted for a completely different starting line-up against the bottom-of the-table Hammers on Saturday, three days after 10 alterations were made to their first XI in the midweek defeat at Villa Park.


After Wolves received a suspended fine when manager Mick McCarthy did the same against Manchester United in December 2009, Holloway expected a similar fate, but the defiant boss insisted he would never put out a team to draw.

West Ham produced a nervous display against Blackpool but were unlucky not to secure victory with Luis Boa Morte and Pablo Barrera wasting good chances, yet it was the visitors who almost won late on as Marlon Harewood shot badly wide.

"Did I come here and try to get a point? No," added Holloway. "I thought it was the best 0-0 draw I have ever seen in my entire life.

"Any team you pick you are putting your heart in your mouth anyway, because at this level it can be beaten, and beaten heavily. What you have got to try to do is believe in your convictions and plan what you are doing.

"I should be allowed to deal with whoever I like. I want to play young players and I want them to have a chance. That's what the 25-man squad is designed to do.

Grant delighted with Hammers display

"I wouldn't disrespect anybody. I'm after every point I can get. If we can play like that we'll win some friends along the way and that's what I want my team to do - to attack and entertain."

Holloway, though, apologised to McCarthy after suggesting that the Wolves boss did not feel his side could beat Manchester United when they travelled to Old Trafford last season.

The pair have subsequently discussed their differences and the Blackpool boss admitted to reacting without knowing the details of what McCarthy had originally said.

"He would never say he would go somewhere and lose, quite rightly," Holloway said.

"He is a decent manager and if I ever do half as much as Mick has done in the game, I would be absolutely delighted, and to keep my dignity like he does. I just lost the plot the other evening."

Holloway also backtracked from his threats to leave the game and stated: "I have made some mistakes in the past and I don't want to make too many now, because I love my job and don't want to leave it.

If we were bottom, did not play good football, without a good spirit, I could say maybe we need to change something

West Ham boss Avram Grant

"I should shut my face and stop threatening to do all sorts of things, because I get emotional when I lost 3-2 and didn't think my team should have. I am going to duck under the radar and just get on with my job."

With two penalty claims turned down involving a tackle by Stephen Crainey on Pablo Barrera and then Victor Obinna's shot hitting Craig Cathcart on the arm, West Ham boss Avram Grant was upset at failing to beat Blackpool and record their first win since September.

"The supporters saw the effort everyone has given. Some were disappointed from the game of course, because the result is not good," said Grant, whose team endured booing by some sections of the home support at full-time.

"There were enough chances to win three games and enough penalties to win two games. We did everything right. I can't say a bad word abut the players, they pressed well, moved, passed and created a lot of chances.

"Every game the decisions go against us. There were two clear penalties."

The Hammers next play Liverpool and Grant remained positive, despite their increasingly precarious position of being four points from the safety zone.

"We need to continue like this. If we were bottom, did not play good football, without a good spirit, I could say maybe we need to change something," he added.

"I hope the players will continue to play like this because I think we will score from less chances than today."

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see also
West Ham 0-0 Blackpool
13 Nov 10 |  Premier League
I'll quit if I'm fined - Holloway
11 Nov 10 |  Blackpool
Fine awaits Blackpool - McCarthy
12 Nov 10 |  Wolves
Holloway defends making 10 changes
10 Nov 10 |  Blackpool
Saturday football as it happened
13 Nov 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
13 Nov 10 |  Football


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