Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Thursday August 6 2009
Sky Sports are this evening reporting that Blackpool have finally had a bid accepted for Oldham right back Neal Eardley.
Ian Holloway has chased the 20 year old Welsh international's signature all summer, and with the new season just days away, The Latics have finally accepted an offer for him from the Pool, although as of yet, no fee has been mentioned.
Eardley, who has made over 130 appearances in an Oldham shirt, captained the club and has 10 Welsh caps, is currently rumoured to be injured, although it has been suggested that this news was put out to try and disguise the fact that a deal was taking place, especially as Eardley is set to undergo a medical tomorrow.
With Oldham already making moves to replace Eardley, it would appear that the deal is all but done, and the Seasiders will be hoping to have the player in their squad for Saturday's Championship opener against QPR.
Ian Holloway is eager to strengthen his squad, despite a brilliant 2-1 win over Premier League Everton during the week, a result that has got the fans buzzing. Goals from David Vaughan and Jason Euell sealed the win as Pool played some great counter attacking football.
'I wish this had been the first three points,' he said afterwards. 'We could do with a good start on Saturday but I need to get the group moving forward, I need to add in the right places and I need to try to take my time.
'Obviously beating Everton pleased me but it doesn't matter because we got nothing for it.
'Hopefully the fans went away happy and I got a fantastic welcome.
'There was a terrific buzz around the place and the pitch looked great.
'Results aren't really too important at this stage. These games are all a lottery. The pleasing thing was that I asked our lads to do some things and they did them.
'In the second half, the team was like a group of strangers. Nobody knew each other but I was so proud of them because they kept digging in.
'Keith Southern went to right-back and when he came off Brett Ormerod moved there. They were great.
'Some of the things we've been talking about they did well. And if you do it well against Everton it bodes well.'
Scorer David Vaughan was taken off as a precaution after picking up a knock on his knee, but Holloway is confident that he'll be fit for Saturday:
'It wasn't serious and I am confident he'll be OK. It was a fantastic goal when he burst through the middle.'
However, Holloway insists that he will not be rushed in the transfer market.
'Everybody is talking about the first game but there are 46 to worry about,' said the boss.
'All I say is that by the 46th game I should have some people in place.
'It doesn't matter about the first game.
'I'm not being funny but if you try to rush something, by borrowing people on loan, rushing out and dragging them in when you're desperate ... it's not the way to do it.
'In an ideal world I would have liked to have had a few more in by now but if it hasn't happened it hasn't happened.
'I know what I need and I'm working towards getting them.
'The fact is I haven't got the team that finished the season and kept us up so people have got to be realistic.
'But getting Charlie (Adam) was a big boost and an important thing for the club.
'Now we need more but I am going to take my time and get the people who I think could take us forward.
'I want to help the ones I already have, who have done exceptionally well with their spirit and their endeavour.
'So I've got to make sure I get the right type of character in to compliment what is already here.'
To date, only Billy Clarke, Jason Euell and Charlie Adam have joined the club this summer, and Adam, who signed for a club record fee of £500,000 on the day of the Everton game admits that he is delighted to be at the seaside.
'It was good to get the reception I did and it's great to be wanted,' said the midfielder.
'It has taken a bit of time to get here but it was not for a lack of effort.
'Everybody at the club has tried as hard as they could and I am glad it is done now. I just want to concentrate on playing football, that is what I'm here for.
'There are going to be ups and downs between now and the end of the season but we will look forward to the challenge and I think it is going to be a good season.'
Asked if becoming Pool's club record signing put extra pressure on his shoulders, Adam replied: 'No. I just need to keep playing the way I played last year and try to improve.
'I came here for three months and yes I did OK but I still need to show why the club put a lot of faith in me and paid the money they paid.
'I am looking forward to it but there is no extra pressure. As footballers you put enough pressure on yourself.
'It is flattering to be the record fee and it is great that we've managed to get it done.
'But the money side takes care of itself.
'Yes it's great to be the record signing. But I'll just concentrate on doing my stuff on the pitch and hopefully I do well enough for the next couple of years and we push on in the right direction.'
One player who may be joining Clarke, Euell, Adam and (hopefully) Eardley at the club is trialist Ishmel Demontagnac who is set to be given a month to month deal by Holloway after impressing on trial. The former Walsall man clearly has ability, but his career has been scarred by unprofessional behaviour and the offer of a month to month deal is reflective of that.
Trialists Adam Nowland, who has somehow found his way back to Blackpool, and Mark Hudson will be given more time to impress.
However, the club's other trialists: Will Haining, Enrique De Lucas, Anthony Brann and Blessing Kaku have all been released.
Many fans will be surprised by the decision to release Haining and De Lucas, but Holloway has stated that although Haining impressed, he really wants a left footed centre back, and whilst De Lucas impressed as well, he is short of fitness and it is believed that his wage demands were too high (this was the reason that Watford didn't sign him after he impressed on trial there as well). Meanwhile, Brann failed to impress during a concerted period of tinme at the club whilst Kaku was too unfit to take part in any competitive action.
Shifting focus back to Eardley, his arrival would heap the pressure on injured right back Danny Coid, who has today spoken of his disappointment at letting the fans down yet again with his latest injury.
'It annoys me that people will be saying 'oh Coidy is injured again' because the last thing I wanted to do was let the supporters down as well as the manager and my team-mates,' said the 28year old.
'I just feel as though I have especially let the manager down because he came in and said a lot of nice things about me.
'I wanted to show him what I could do and I wanted to get run of games in and I believed I could do that.
'My fitness was fine until this happened but I knew straightaway, as soon as I got injured, that everybody would be on my back.
'But when you are at a club for so long your injuries, and how often you get them, are noticed more.
'People are entitled to what they want to say.
'I'm the same. I'm an Evertonian - so, yes, I was gutted to miss that game the other night - and if one of their players is injured all the time I know I'll be saying 'he's always injured, he is'. That's just part and parcel of being involved in this job.
'The only thing I can do now is bounce back and show everybody, especially the manager, what I can offer.'
Date:Thursday August 6 2009
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