Date:Friday August 7 2009
8th August 2009
It's very difficult not to draw on the experiences of six years ago when The Seasiders were thumped 5-0 on the opening day by a QPR side managed by a certain Ian Holloway. His Rangers side won promotion to The Championship nine months later. Now at the helm at Bloomfield Road, Holloway is talking about getting Blackpool to the self-proclaimed 'promised land'.
The new manager obviously isn't talking as if the club expect promotion this campaign. No, his words in the press signal towards a longer term plan which hopefully will put 'Pool on the map once again.
For now his interviews are a breath of fresh air and it is going to be a real privilege writing about the undoubted rollercoaster which will ensue.
'It's not about what we've achieved in the past, it's where we are going. We are making progress,' Holloway said.
Upon his arrival back in June, he spoke of taking baby steps towards progress. Looking at his comments yesterday, perhaps these small steps have now been put on the backburner.
'You get a wedge of money to buy good players and get better training facilities, and you have someone in charge who wants to get to the Premier League,' typifies this new buzz around Bloomfield Road looking towards the future.
It will be difficult going down to Loftus Road tomorrow and getting three points - especially with a squad almost too small to fill a matchday squad - but the belief is there.
The hosts have been going through a transitional stage, just like ourselves. Jim Magilton, after receiving the sack by Ipswich Town late last season, took over from Paulo Sousa. And what an attractive prospect QPR are for a young manager: the richest club outside the Premiership with huge ambition and situated in the capital.
With this cash and expectation, the club will be wanting to push for at least the playoffs this season, but the new manager has played down their chances so far.
QPR defender Fitz Hall wants to start as they mean to go on against The Tangerines.
'We need to get out of the blocks quickly.
'It's of paramount importance that we start with a good performance and victory.
'Blackpool are a hard-working side. Now Ian Holloway is there they'll be even harder to beat.'
Big big money is available to Magilton but he's yet to spend vast amounts of it. Alessandro Pellicori signed on a free transfer but the striker has spent most of his time in Serie B, whilst Adel Taarabt has joined on loan from Spurs and has a bright future ahead of him. Goalkeeper Andy Marshall has been offered a deal to provide competition for Radek Cerny. Cerny is struggling with a virus which could mean 34-year-old Marshall deputises in between the sticks.
However, they have made one big signing this summer: a £3.5m deal to take midfielder Alejandro Faurlin to the club from Club Instituto in Argentina.
Good news for 'Pool though - the multi million pound signing Faurlin won't be fit enough to play any part along with tricky winger Lee Cook. Cook certainly is one of Rangers' key men, and considering the fee paid for Faurlin, he will be a big miss too for the home side.
Defender Matt Connolly along with midfield pair Akos Busacky and Mikele Leigertwood are all fully fit but may miss out on the starting eleven.
The lightning fast winger tore Joe Martin and Ian Harte apart back in February when QPR turned 'Pool over 3-0.
Criticised for final delivery earlier in his career, he now seems to have worked on it and has become a complete midfielder who will undoubtably play at the highest level again.
Danny Coid is out injured alongside Stephen McPhee long term. Billy Clarke will be back in the matchday squad after time off with his new born child.
Charlie Adam is set to make his league debut along with Jason Euell in midfield whilst David Vaughan looks like he could miss out through a slight niggle picked up in the win against Everton on Tuesday.
With Ian Holloway likely to employ a 4-5-1 system, Southern is vitally important. His box-to-box style of play might have to be curbed with the likes of Adam and Euell around him.
If he remains disciplined then it will provide the team with a stable platform in the middle of the park, which could be key as QPR are likely to have a lot of the ball.
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Crewe Alex (a)
Tuesday 11th August.
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