Fearless Holloway inspired by Blackpool's Old Trafford survival mission

By John Edwards

Blackpool are still alive and fighting but, if they do somehow retain their Barclays Premier League status, it will in no way have been thanks to the fixture schedule.

Ian Holloway's side are unbeaten in four games, the latest result a thrilling 4-3 win over Bolton on Saturday, but they are 18th in the table and next Sunday play their final match at a ground where no visiting team has won this season.

West Bromwich Albion are the only club to take so much as a point from Old Trafford in Manchester United's title-winning campaign and, more ominously still, Blackpool go there with a set of players who, DJ Campbell apart, have never set foot on the famous pitch. 

Inspired: Ian Holloway is relishing Blackpool's trip to Old Trafford

Inspired: Ian Holloway is relishing Blackpool's trip to Old Trafford

The tallest of orders confronts the most diminutive of managers, but there was little sign of Holloway throwing up his arms in despair after Blackpool beat Bolton.

Holloway insisted: 'It just sums everything up about our overall story that we have to go to the home of the champions and win, and, for me, that's better than having to do it at somewhere like Wigan.

'I'd rather have this scenario, no matter how good United are, because it's the ultimate place to go and I want my lads to savour the moment. It's just wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

'I've been there as a player and won 4-1 (with Queens Park Rangers in 1992). We were 2-0 up before I'd had a touch. Dennis Bailey was on fire and finished with a hat-trick. We may need something similar but the main thing is, I want my lads to try and perform in front of an immense crowd.' 

Rant: Holloway leapt to the defence of Charlie Adam (left)

Rant: Holloway leapt to the defence of Charlie Adam (left)

The Premier League would certainly be a duller place without Holloway, as illustrated by what started as a rant against Alan Shearer - the former Newcastle striker claimed Charlie Adam may have missed his chance of a big-money move - but strayed into the realms of sheer eccentricity.

'Get stuffed, what are you on about?' he said of Shearer. 'The kid's fantastic, and you're telling me they're not going to snap him up?

'He falls in the river like a sardine and they'll gobble him up, if that's what Mr Cantona meant all those years ago.

'It was worse than Shakespeare, that, wasn't it? I watched Hamlet the other night and, what a shame, they nearly all died in the end. I've never heard so many words make so little sense.

'It was brilliant, a bit like my interviews.'

Match zone: Blackpool v Bolton

Match zone: Blackpool v Bolton

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