Holloway wary of Birmingham threat

PA Sport
Ian Holloway
Ian Holloway

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway insists it will take a monumental effort from his players to preserve their slender npower Championship play-off semi-final advantage over Birmingham.

Curtis Davies's own goal in last Friday's first game is all that separates the sides going into Wednesday night's clash at St Andrew's.

Chris Hughton's Blues boast an impressive home record, losing only once on their own patch all season, to leave Holloway convinced of the scale of the task at hand.

"It's going to take every ounce of everything we've got going down there with their crowd and their passion," he said.

"I needed a lead, we've got a very slender lead. We won the first game and I think that's a marker to them. We didn't beat them this year.

"I'm looking forward to it, I can't be worried. I'd be worried if we were not in this situation. I feel my team deserved it on Friday night."

The first leg was Blackpool's first win over Birmingham in five attempts and a marked improvement on their 3-0 league defeat in the Midlands on New Year's Eve, where Holloway was sent to the stands for protesting against a red card shown to captain Barry Ferguson.

By contrast, the club boast a superb play-off pedigree, having won their last 10 matches in the format.

A dramatic passage to the Barclays Premier League two seasons ago, courtesy of 2-1 and 4-3 wins over Nottingham Forest and a 3-2 final triumph over Cardiff, came on the back of successful 2001 and 2007 campaigns to earn promotion to the third tier and Championship respectively.

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