Holloway: I can pick who I like
Ian Holloway again defended his right to select whatever side he likes following a 0-0 draw at West Ham - a match in which he made 11 changes. Holloway had threatened to quit if fined for making 10 alterations for the midweek defeat at Aston Villa, and had recalled his main men against the Premier League's bottom club. The Tangerines came within minutes of snatching a point at Villa Park, and could easily have left Upton Park with another crucial away victory, as substitute Marlon Harewood saw a late effort chalked off for what looked a marginal offside flag and also missed an open goal. Holloway said: "I have found a bit of pressure this week by apparently picking some people I was not supposed to pick. "The new rules should let me pick whoever I like, particularly when I have spent a lot of money on them. "We have got a lot more in our team than just Charlie Adam. "We have got a lot of good players and so hopefully I can pick them when I like." Holloway, though, issued a public apology after suggesting Wolves boss Mick McCarthy did not feel his side could beat Manchester United last season. Wolves were given a suspended £25,000 fine when McCarthy made similar changes for a game at Old Trafford last season, but Holloway said the two situations were different because McCarthy had admitted "playing a lesser XI" as he felt his side could not win. On Friday McCarthy revealed Holloway had spoken to him personally about the situation, and on Saturday afternoon the Blackpool manager stated: "I would like to apologise to Mick McCarthy. I never knew exactly what Mick had actually said. "He would never say he would go somewhere and lose, quite rightly. "He is a decent manager and if I ever do half as much as Mick has done in the game, I would be absolutely delighted, and to keep my dignity like he does. "I just lost the plot the other evening." Holloway maintained he had gone for victory in each of the last two matches, regardless of team selection. "Did I come here and try to get a point? No. I thought it was the best 0-0 draw I have ever seen in my entire life," he said. "Any team you pick you are putting your heart in your mouth anyway, because at this level it can be beaten, and beaten heavily. "What you have got to try to do is believe in your convictions and plan what you are doing. "I have got some good players. Just because you don't know them and you have not seen them, don't judge. "How dare you? Make sense, they have played fantastic football. Man United only managed to get 2-2 at Villa and we almost did as well. "I did not think my better team might beat West Ham, I don't do those things." Holloway has certainly brought a bit of colour to the top flight, but the Tangerines boss insists now is the time to be serious. He said: "I have made some mistakes in the past and I don't want to make too many now, because I love my job and don't want to leave it. "I should shut my face and stop threatening to do all sorts of things, because I get emotional when I lost 3-2 and didn't think my team should have. I am going to duck under the radar and just get on with my job." West Ham manager Avram Grant felt his side had done enough to secure a first league win since the end of September. They had two strong penalty claims turned down by referee Kevin Friend in the first half when winger Pablo Barrera was tripped by Stephen Crainey and then Victor Obinna's shot hit Craig Cathcart on the arm. Grant again faced calls for his resignation after the final whistle but said: "The supporters saw the effort everyone has given. Some were disappointed from the game of course, because the result is not good. "There were enough chances to win three games and enough penalties to win two games. We did everything right. I cant say a bad word abut the players, they pressed well, moved, passed and created a lot of chances." Grant added: "I don't want to speak about referees that everyone saw on television. What happened this season is a disgrace. Every game the decisions (go) against us. "There were two clear penalties. One with the hand, he saved it better than the goalkeeper. Our players also are too honest. Pablo tried to stay on his feet." West Ham head to Liverpool next weekend and Grant added: "We need to continue like this. "If we were bottom, did not play good football, without a good spirit, I could say maybe we need to change something. "I hope the players will continue to play like this because I think we will score from less chances than today."
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