Blackpool Vs Stoke City, Sat 30 Apr 2011

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Blackpool boss Ian Holloway feels his team have nothing to fear from their run-in as they bid to preserve their top-flight status.

The Seasiders are above the relegation zone on goal difference alone with four matches left to play in their maiden Barclays Premier League campaign.

Holloway's side face Stoke at Bloomfield Road on Saturday before travelling to Tottenham, hosting Bolton and then finishing their season by taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It is a tough sequence of games, but the reverse fixtures yielded seven points for Blackpool and their manager is in an optimistic mood.

"We've already beaten Stoke away, we've already beaten Tottenham here," Holloway said.

"We drew with Bolton away and we lost 3-2 to Man United here, with them having to climb out from a two-goal deficit.

"Am I scared of any of them? No. Am I looking forward to it? Yes. And do I think we can get enough points? Absolutely, yes."


Blackpool have won only one of their last 14 matches, losing 10 of them, but moved out of the drop zone after last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

"It was like seeing my team again," Holloway said. "That is how we have been most of the year and it's really difficult to put your finger on what goes wrong or why it goes wrong at this level.

"It might not be you, it might be the opposition being that little bit better.

"But that was about as complete a performance as I've seen from my team.

"We limited them to very few opportunities throughout the whole game, we created quite a few and we didn't quite get some decisions which were massive; if you get three shouts for a penalty, you normally get one.

"That was a bit disappointing, but such is life and it will turn if we keep pressing and closing like we did.

"I think that comes from a fresh outlook that the worst has happened now. Let's crack on and see if we can take on these teams."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis insists he will not be tempted to play a weakened team as the Potters build up to the FA Cup final against Manchester City in two weeks' time.

Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wolves ensured any lingering doubts about Stoke's survival in the Barclays Premier League were banished but it came at a cost with influential winger Matthew Etherington tearing a hamstring.

It was the second injury blow in a week for Pulis after striker Ricardo Fuller ruptured his Achilles in the draw with Aston Villa last weekend.

Unlike the Jamaican, who is likely to miss the start of next season, Etherington has not definitely been ruled out of the cup final but he faces a race against time he will not be the favourite to win.

With little now to play for in the league, Pulis could be forgiven for being cautious in his team selections for tomorrow's trip to Bloomfield Road and next weekend's clash with Arsenal, but the Potters boss does not believe that approach would be the right one.

He said: "The player you're protecting could go out and train and go over on his ankle. I think you've just got to play it the way you normally play it and get on with it.

"We've got two games to go. It's a three-game week for us, we've got a very tough game at Blackpool on Saturday and then we play Arsenal, which again will be a very tough game.

"We'll rest and recover like we've done all through the season and we'll pick a team that will go to Blackpool and hopefully do the best they possibly can."

Dean Whitehead, who replaced Etherington against Wolves, will hope to be given the chance to stake his claim for a cup final spot while John Carew could be given his first start in almost two months.

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