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Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Saturday, 28 August 2010 20:24 UK

Ian Holloway hails the top-flight's return to Blackpool


Blackpool have lessons to learn - Holloway

Proud boss Ian Holloway said Blackpool were almost in disbelief after top-flight football returned to Bloomfield Road for the first time since 1971.

The Tangerines were denied a second win of the season when Dickson Etuhu's late goal secured a 2-2 draw for Fulham.

But Holloway insisted it did not spoil the day at the 16,500-capacity ground.

"We've got to pinch ourselves we are at this level, he said. "What an achievement to get this game on. It's a fantastic day for the club."

Promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs after finishing sixth in the Championship last season, Blackpool won their first game at Wigan 4-0 before being thrashed 6-0 at Arsenal in their second.

After Bobby Zamora's header gave Fulham a first-half lead against the run of play, Blackpool bravely hit back in the second period with debutant Luke Varney drilling them ahead in the 76th minute after John Pantsil's own goal - but they could not hold out until the end.

Tangerine Sherlock

"Our [second] goal I am absolutely delighted with," said Holloway.

"It was some of the best football any team of mine has ever produced. "Then we lose the ball easily and they equalise, so we have some harsh lessons to learn.

"[But] I felt defensively we were much better today. Well done to everyone. Fulham are a fantastic side and Bobby Zamora looks a proper handful now.

"He is very clever and very difficult to mark. I was pretty happy when he went off. We scored two goals against Fulham. I watched Manchester United do that. If you had told me that after the Arsenal match, I'd have taken that."

Fulham manager Mark Hughes thought his team suffered when Zamora went off with a thigh injury which could threaten his involvement with England ahead of their upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Hughes targets more points on the road

"We lost a little bit of our focus when Bobby went off," said the Welshman. "That disrupted us somewhat.

"But we are pleased with an away point and will build on that. We haven't picked up that many points on the road over the years.

"It is something we hope to improve on. It is key to whether we have a decent season.

"In the second half we didn't play as well as we normally can, made a couple of mistakes and let them get back into the game.

"It is good to see Dickson Etuhu getting on the end of something. He has not scored many goals in his career. We are trying to get him forward more."

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Aug 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 3 14 9
2 Arsenal 3 7 7
3 Man Utd 3 6 7
4 Wolves 3 1 5
5 Newcastle 3 3 4
6 Man City 2 3 4
7 Bolton 2 2 4
8 Birmingham 2 1 4
9 Tottenham 3 0 4
10 Blackpool 3 -2 4
11 Fulham 3 0 3
12 Blackburn 3 -1 3
13 Aston Villa 2 -3 3
14 West Brom 2 -5 3
15 Wigan 3 -9 3
16 Sunderland 2 -1 1
17 Everton 2 -1 1
18 Liverpool 2 -3 1
19 Stoke 3 -4 0
20 West Ham 3 -8 0

see also
Blackpool 2-2 Fulham
28 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool
21 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Wigan 0-4 Blackpool
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League

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