Sunday 21 January 2018

Ferguson hails attacking flair of Holloway's side as freeze bites Blackpool

Ken Gaunt

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson believes Ian Holloway deserves to be applauded for the job he is doing at Blackpool.

The Premier League leaders have been denied a date at the seaside this evening with a frozen pitch at Bloomfield Road forcing a postponement, with Blackpool also set to lose about £700,000 in television money.

But Ferguson was full of praise for Holloway's achievements this season when he was asked to assess the Premier League newcomer's progress.

"What is happening at Blackpool is unbelievable," Ferguson said. "They could have been five up (last week) before Bolton had a shot on goal. They are attacking every team, they are having a go and are scoring goals. What more can you say about them?

"Ian Holloway has done a fantastic job. He brought Charlie Adam down from Glasgow when nobody seemed to want him. He is one of the best players in the league. He is having a fantastic season.

"Ian took Craig Cathcart from us. He is a terrific lad and a good player. He also got him for a song. Ian has done his homework very well and is getting his rewards.


"He has taken a chance on players and they are rewarding him for giving them an opportunity to play in the Premier League."

Ferguson, reflecting on the 4-0 Carling Cup defeat against West Ham, said: "A few years from now these players will go down there and win that kind of game. That is what experience gives you. It was not a 4-0 game.

"We had the most possession, we had the most entries into the penalty box. They had six strikes at goal and scored four. We defended poorly. You cannot afford that in a cup tie. The only positive out of it was that Ryan (Giggs) and Darren (Fletcher) got a game. The only one who came up to standard was Anderson."

Meanwhile, Michael Owen could be back in time for the festive fixtures. The striker has returned to full training following a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action since October.

"He is doing very well. He took part in the football side of it yesterday," Ferguson said.

"I'd say he's two weeks away (from playing). We need to make sure he does a good stint of football training before we bring him into the games."

However, midfielder Owen Hargreaves is no nearer a return from his hamstring problem.

Ferguson added: "It's a bad blow for the lad and it's hard to take, given the length of time he's been out and the amount of football he's missed."

Irish Independent

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