Monday 26 February 2018

Adam will be sorely missed for Spurs visit

Stoke city 0
Blackpool 1

David McVay

Ian Holloway has said in the past that he dislikes the attention lavished on his captain Charlie Adam.

The Blackpool manager may be more prudent in what he wishes for because no one will be talking about his midfield maestro for the visit of Tottenham next weekend.

A questionable fifth yellow card of the season at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday meant Adam will be absent through suspension. Yet the mood among Holloway's players suggests they are no longer as brittle as a stick of seaside rock or as reliant on an admittedly outstanding footballing talent.

"All four of the defence has been superb," said DJ Campbell, whose third goal of the season secured his side's fourth away victory.

"We are digging in deep and we are going to have days like this when we have to roll our sleeves up to get the points. We have to be at our best to stay in this league."

On an afternoon of tributes to the Potteries' most famous football son, Stanley Matthews, and Blackpool's most famous FA Cup winner, Adam crafted a performance that was worthy of the occasion.

The architect of Campbell's winner, his vision and passing created three glaring chances all spurned by colleagues; Stoke countered through the sparse guile that Matthew Etherington and Ricardo Fuller lend the team.

"We are playing the way the gaffer wants us to play," Campbell added.

"First and foremost we want to score goals and stay in this league."

These are ambitions surely echoed by Stoke manager Tony Pulis, though not necessarily in that order.

He and Holloway were teenage friends at Bristol Rovers as players and now bonded by family links as adults, their differing tactical customs are reminiscent of a Star Wars plot. Who has strayed to the dark side remains a matter of opinion.

Pulis described Blackpool as playing "roulette football", comparing their fearless style to Hull City's first season in the Premier League.

A fitting appraisal since a visit to one of Blackpool's Golden Mile's casinos for a squad poker tournament had been part of Blackpool's preparations.

Of course, Stoke's own brand of football may persuade some to take up Canasta or Bridge as a spectator sport. The wheel of fortune seldom seemed so attractive. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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