Ian Holloway surprised by Ipswich performance

BLACKPOOL boss Ian Holloway has admitted he was taken aback by how well Ipswich played in the entertaining 2-2 draw at Portman Road on Saturday.

Town’s defensive problems again cost them three points, but there were plenty of positives at the other end of the pitch.

And Holloway was left suitably impressed even if he knew his side could have departed Suffolk with the victory.

He said: “I didn’t expect the energy in their team like that. They got tight to us, they got close to us, stopped our front three playing – stopped all of us from playing to be honest.

“We needed that strong finish because I thought we got outplayed for most of the match.

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“Such is life and I think that shows that sometimes when your young ones are off the boil a bit, you need some senior ones who know the game, show a great attitude and come on a show their class.”

One such player was Kevin Phillips who equalised for Blackpool, having set up fellow sub Elliot Grandin for the first, before he missed a gilt-edged, one-on-one chance when Alex McCarthy blocked his late shot.

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Holloway added: “Elliot (Grandin) was terrific when he came on and as for Kevin Phillips, he’s like a fine wine isn’t he?

“I think we’re all a bit shocked that when he went through the second time your goalie managed to save it.

“I thought would have been far too harsh (on Ipswich). Sometimes life is, but that would have been far too harsh on Ipswich’s performance today if they had ended up with nothing.”

Holloway also gave his unstinting backing to Paul Jewell who he expected to turn around the fortunes of Ipswich.

When asked if Town had the right man for the task, Holloway replied: “Absolutely, all day long. I spoke to him this morning (Saturday) to make sure he’s keeping his pecker up because it does get you down sometimes.

“I think he’s a fantastic manager – always has been, always will be. He’s got a fantastic owner who is very similar to mine. They don’t want to be seen to be caught up in this football nonsense.”

But Holloway, who suggested being in the Premier League wasn’t all it is cracked up to be, did have one message for Blues fans.

He said: “You look at this size of this club (Ipswich). At the end of the day you might not quite be as you used to be.

“Everywhere you go, you’ve got some wonderful statues and some wonderful people to revere – the great Bobby Robson himself.

“But life moves on and wherever you are at the moment you have to deal with that. Your players and your supporters have to deal with that.

“But let’s get back to it. Your team deserved something from today. The ways things are going that might just turn things around.”

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