Ian Holloway said he will resign if the Premier League punish Blackpool for fielding a weakened team in the 3-2 defeat against Aston Villa.

The Tangerines boss made 10 changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Everton at the weekend for the clash at Villa Park, with only Keith Southern retaining his place, and the visitors were within a minute of getting a point before James Collins' late winner. Wolves were given a suspended £25,000 fine by the Premier League last season after boss Mick McCarthy made 10 changes for a match against Manchester United.

Asked what he would do if the Premier League impose the same punishment on his club, an angry Holloway said: "I'd pack in, I can't work for this madness. I would resign. They do not know what they're talking about."

Holloway, who denied he made the changes with Saturday's match against West Ham in mind, continued: "You haven't got to be a genius to work out what happened to Wolves last year and how wrong that was. Mick can pick whoever he likes.

"We deserved at least a point and how dare anybody tell me the players I've been working with, I can't treat them with respect and give them a chance.

"Because they should have played before now. I wasn't sure they were ready, tonight they have enhanced their reputation with me.

"Let some person from the Premier League even try to tell me who I can pick. I am the manager of Blackpool Football Club and I select people to come to the club and play them whenever I want.

"I'm going to come here and try to beat Aston Villa and I'm going to go to West Ham and try to beat them and all. If I pick a different team, I've got every right to do what I like.

"Let them try and fine me, it's an absolute disgrace. I'll show the Premier League. We were a credit to football, and let the Premier League try to tell me otherwise."

Holloway's extraordinary rant began during Gerard Houllier's press conference, which the Blackpool boss entered half way through and subsequently stormed out of when a journalist asked the Frenchman his opinion of a possible fine from the Premier League.

The Blackpool boss shouted: "You're so rude and being so disrespectful to my players," before picking up the theme when he returned to face the media himself.

Houllier admitted he was worried when he saw Blackpool's team because of his previous experiences of both fielding much-changed sides and facing them, particularly with Villa attempting to end a run of five league games without a win.

"When I saw their team line-up I was extremely worried because it happened to me twice," said the Villa boss.

"Once I had to do it myself for a cup game and we won, and it happened also when I was at Liverpool and Sunderland came with a depleted team and they won.

"The team you are going to play have nothing to lose, they throw everything at you. We were a bit anxious, a bit nervous because we needed the points.

"The first half I would say was dreadful but the second half we were better. We took more responsibility to attack, created more chances and played a more exciting game."

Despite their numerous changes, it was Blackpool who began the brighter but Villa came more into the game as the first half wore on and went ahead in the 28th minute when Stewart Downing took a return pass from Ashley Young on the edge of the area and sent in a shot that was deflected past Richard Kingson by Dekel Keinan.

Blackpool levelled for the first time just before the break as a lovely back-heel from the impressive Matt Phillips played in former Villa striker Marlon Harewood, but it was the hosts who took the initiative at the start of the second half.

Nathan Delfouneso saw a header harshly chalked off for a push on Keinan but the 19-year-old did get his first goal of the season on the hour mark, finishing coolly after latching onto a precision pass from Ashley Young.

That looked to be that but, out of nothing, substitute DJ Campbell drew Blackpool level again with a 20-yard effort three minutes from time.

A wicked deflection off Collins carried the ball over Brad Friedel but the Welshman had the last laugh as he headed in a Downing corner less than two minutes later to seal the three points.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Sunderland
Stewart Downing
Football
Dekel Keinan
Premier League
Marlon Harewood
Manchester United
Keith Southern
Matt Phillips
Ashley Young
Brad Friedel
Everton
Nathan Delfouneso
James Collins
Aston Villa
Richard Kingson
DJ Campbell
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blackpool
Liverpool