Former manager Ian Holloway has tipped Blackpool as outsiders for League One promotion.
Speaking to the Football League Paper (11/8/19: p. 30) Holloway said he had the Tangerines as ‘slight outsiders’ to return to the Championship after a five-year absence.
He believed Simon Grayson was a fantastic managerial appointment and that the long-suffering fans deserve a memorable season after finally seeing the hated Oyston family removed from the corridors of power at Bloomfield Road.
Holloway worked closely with owner Owen Oyston while guiding the Seasiders to the Premier League in 2010, and giving an insight into his managerial technique; he explained he used the owner’s unpopularity to motivate the Blackpool players. ‘I used him as a bad cop. Boy was he a bad cop; he was brilliant at it. Without him and the way he did things, I’d have never been able to motivate the lads the way I did, and they wouldn’t have been as up for it as they were.’
Current boss Grayson is in his second spell at the club having guided them to the Championship in 2007 and Holloway believes he is the right man to steer the club to better things under the exciting new ownership of life long fan Simon Sadler. Indeed, Grayson has League One promotions with three other clubs on his CV and Holloway said he was ‘a fantastic man.’
Despite seeing the dream of top-flight football crash amid financial asset stripping from the owners, Holloway said he wouldn’t change a thing about his time at the Tangerines and had a special word for the club’s fans. ‘The fans played their part by singing a wonderful song, never expecting anything ‘This is the best trip we’ve ever been on.’ They made it easy for my lads to fail sometimes during that season but put the run together that got us there. They are moments that you will never forget.’
Holloway might have a point, Blackpool have started well, winning their first two games and there is a massive feelgood factor around the club.
The power of positivity cannot be underestimated and together with the experienced management of Grayson; they have a real chance of at least a playoff place this season.
From there, anything is possible.