Varney Signs on Loan - Ollie no apologies to Dons - Fulham Preview
Luke Varney is set to make his debut against Fulham and Ian Evatt is available after missing the defeat at MK Dons for which Ian Holloway refused to apologise for fielding a weakend side. Holloway has strengthened his attacking options by signing Luke Varney on a season-long loan deal from Derby.Varney, 27, could make his debut against Fulham in the club's first Barclays Premier League home match at Bloomfield Road.The striker has also worn the colours of Crewe, Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday.Blackpool have the option of signing Varney on a permanent basis and Holloway said: "He is a great lad, he has got some pace and I think he'll play really well in a 4-3-3 formation."Varney, 27, could make his debut against Fulham on Saturday in the club's first Barclays Premier League home match at new-look Bloomfield Road. The striker has also worn the colours of Crewe, Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday.Holloway believes he can revive Varney's career at the top level. Holloway said: "I think he will just slot straight in to our system and hopefully I can get him going again. "He is a fantastic lad off the field and even at Sheffield Wednesday last season he got 11 goals for them."Holloway will stick to his principles on Saturday despite the 6-0 defeat by Arsenal last weekend.He said: "It is about trying to find our feet at this level. But I am absolutely delighted to have a challenge like this."We want to keep producing something that is entertaining and people want to pay to see. If that means we don't win enough I don't really care."What I am trying to do is play a brand of football that is attractive and modern and maybe others aspire to."Holloway has made no apologies for fielding a weakened side in the Carling Cup as the Seasiders went out of the competition in the second round to MK Dons, two divisions below them. Ollie did not attend the match and went to Scunthorpe's tie against Sheffield Wednesday instead, with reports linking him to visiting striker Marcus Tudgay. Holloway, who refused to comment on the speculation, said: "With the greatest respect to MK Dons, the team I put out there, the players needed a game."He added: "That game has gone and were are out of the cup. Was I bothered? No. That was the strongest team I could risk after last Saturday and what I have got this Saturday."My priority is to bring enough players here to give us half a chance to get enough points by January so we don't go mad in the market again and we keep our Premier League status. That is what it is all about." Next up after the 6-0 thrashing by Arsenal are Fulham at the new revamped Bloomfield Road.While Holloway is excited about the forthcoming game and strengthening his squad by the end of the window he is concerned about player power. He said: "I was outspoken at the managers' meeting and will probably never be invited again but I believe the Bosman ruling is totally wrong. It gives power to agents, not the club."Say you have developed a player for four or five years and he runs out of contract. If you offer him the same contract at least you should hold his registration. "You should have the power, not the player. But now if he is 24 he can walk out of the club for nothing. It breeds disloyalty."Fulham manager Mark Hughes may hand a start to Moussa Dembele after his impressive display against Port Vale. Fellow newcomer Rafik Halliche could be involved, but goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is still not fit enough to return. Blackpool defender Ian Evatt is available again after missing the Carling Cup defeat by MK Dons through suspension.Goalkeeper Paul Rachubka remains sidelined after having an operation on his knee and striker Jason Euell is also out.BlackpoolDoubtful: Euell (knee) Injured: Almond (shoulder), Clarke, Euell, Rachubka & Southern (all knee) FulhamInjured: A Johnson (knee), Kamara (foot), Senderos (Achilles), Schwarzer (back) MATCH PREVIEWGeorge Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law graced the field the last time top-flight football was played at Bloomfield Road back in 1971. Now Blackpool are back in the big time, the race has been on to ensure they have a stadium fit to host the stars of today. My priority is to bring enough players here to give us half a chance to get enough points by January so we don't go mad in the market again and we keep our Premier League statusBuilding work was frantic to ensure the new East stand was ready for this fixture and the club were forced to issue a plea for fans to turn up to a Lancashire Senior Cup tie with Morecambe on Wednesday to ensure the stand got its safety certificate in time. The Seasiders' season is shaping up to resemble one of the rollercoasters on the town's famous Pleasure Beach. After the euphoric high of the opening day win over Wigan they crashed back down to earth and shipped 10 goals in two games to Arsenal and MK Dons. In contrast, Fulham's start under Mark Hughes has been steady and, after rescuing a point against Manchester United, they hammered Port Vale 6-0 in the Carling Cup. Hughes has been busy in the transfer market and the club's left-back position is the cause of much speculation as Paul Konchesky looks likely to join Liverpool, with PSV Eindhoven's Carlos Salcido his replacement. But the answer may prove to be home grown given the performance against Vale from Matthew Briggs, who still holds the record for the Premier League's youngest-ever player. MATCH FACTSHead-to-head• Fulham have won six of their last seven league meetings with Blackpool. Fulham won on their last trip to Blackpool, back in October 1998, when Geoff Horsfield was on target in a 3-2 win. • Blackpool have won only one of their last six home games against Fulham. • The overall record between the sides in all competitions is 40 wins for Blackpool, 34 for Fulham and 29 draws.
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