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Blackpool Vs Newcastle United, Sat 23 Apr 2011

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Blackpool manager Ian Holloway hopes to revive the spirit of last year's promotion charge to beat relegation this season.

The Seasiders have plunged into danger after winning just one of their last 13 Barclays Premier League games.

A year ago Holloway's men staged a remarkable late push to sneak into the Championship play-offs and then go on to win promotion at Wembley.

They maintained that momentum to make a flying start to top-flight life but form has deserted them since January and last week's loss to Wigan left them in the bottom three for the first time.

Holloway said: "It is just a run. Lots of teams have gone on these type of runs and in this league it is really difficult to get out of it.

"We have got to look back at the times we have played and scored and won games people would never have believed we could do. That is still there.

"Every good run starts and stops and every bad run starts and stops.

"I can't control whether someone is a bit nervous or the occasion gets to them, but I have got to believe now that our lads, with the run-in we had last year with 10 games to go, why can't we do that with five games to go?

"We don't need a mountain of points. There are probably five teams still in it and we are one of those five.

"We have got to try to clamber out up to the two that are going to be lucky."


 

Holloway hopes the shock of slipping into the relegation zone can work to his team's advantage.

He added: "Now we are down there we have got to get out.

"I think we are in a better place because we are used to looking up more than looking down. I think it will suit us.

"It was always going to be this way, I have said it all along. We have got five games left and the chance to achieve a miracle, which is staying up."

Blackpool will be boosted by the presence of captain Charlie Adam after the Scot was cleared of a broken foot.

Fellow midfielder David Vaughan is also hoping to be in contention after missing the last two games with a hip injury.

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has challenged his players to prove their hunger to be part of the club's future during the remaining weeks of the season.

The Magpies reached 40 points for the campaign with a hard-fought draw against Manchester United on Tuesday evening to edge themselves closer to Barclays Premier League safety.

Victory at Bloomfield Road would surely end any lingering fears of being sucked into the relegation fight and allow the club to start planning for the new season.

Pardew's scouts have already scattered far and wide in anticipation of a busy summer with the club intending to invest a large proportion of the #35million they received from Liverpool for Andy Carroll in January on new recruits.

However, they will first need to thrash out the way forward with the likes of full-back Jose Enrique, who has been strongly tipped to follow Carroll to Anfield, Joey Barton and skipper Kevin Nolan, whose contracts are running down.

Enrique and Barton have put talks on hold with the latter indicating that his decision will depend on how much ambition the club's hierarchy shows this summer.

But Pardew insists the remaining five games also give those players an opportunity to prove that they are worth a new deal.

He said: "We are not really going to do anything in terms of the players we have here until the end of the season.

"That's right and proper because we have got the keep the players hungry and fighting to the end to earn that new contract. That's important."

Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan will return from suspension for the trip.

The midfielder has missed the last two games after reaching 10 bookings for the campaign, but could partner Cheick Tiote once again after the Ivory Coast international returned from a similar lay-off against Manchester United in midweek.

However, Tim Krul will deputise once again for keeper Steve Harper, who may need an minor operation on his knee, while midfielder Danny Guthrie will miss out with a shin problem.

French winger Hatem Ben Arfa is on target to be involved in the final three games of the campaign, but Leon Best (ankle), Dan Gosling (knee) and Alan Smith (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

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

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Newcastle United
Blackpool

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