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Holloway must put United landmark on ice

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway will have to wait to pit his wits against Manchester United after the weather delayed a career highlight tonight.

Holloway had said hosting United in the Premier League would rank among his greatest managerial achievements but tonight's eagerly-anticipated clash at Bloomfield Road has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The temperature in the seaside town plummeted to minus eight degrees centigrade on Thursday and a decision was taken yesterday by referee Peter Walton to call off the televised encounter.

Blackpool do not have undersoil heating and had been keeping the pitch covered and using hot-air blowers in an attempt to get the game on. It proved to no avail, however, as Walton inspected the surface and deemed it unplayable.

"I'm pretty proud to be playing one of the best teams in the world," Holloway had said.

The last time the Seasiders played host to United was in 1971 in the club's last match before relegation from the old First Division.

This season is the club's first back in the top flight since that year.



Embarrassing

Blackpool will now have to count the cost of their failed attempts to get the game on.

Holloway also said earlier this week it would not reflect well on the club if they were unable to beat the weather.

"We hope the game will be on, we want it to be," he said on Thursday.

"It would be very embarrassing if we can't get it on."

Blackpool were pre-season favourites for relegation from the Championship last year but Holloway instead led them to an unlikely promotion.

Consequently they lag some way behind their Premier League rivals off the field and their latest problem further underlines their rapid rise.

On the field, however, they have proved competitive and were 11th -- level with Liverpool -- ahead of the weekend's action.


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