Holloway left deflated by ref

Blackpool boss also continues war or words with Houllier

Holloway: Let down by Walton

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Dejected Blackpool manager Ian Holloway believed that mistakes of match officials cost his side in their dramatic 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

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Last season's Championship play-off winners threw away a two-goal first-half lead against the current Premier League leaders in a cruel loss at Bloomfield Road.

Goals from former United youngster Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell had given Blackpool a deserved margin at half-time.

Holloway's team could have gone three goals in front if referee Peter Walton had punished Rafael for a clumsy challenge on Luke Varney inside the penalty area shortly after half-time.

But Blackpool did not get their spot-kick and United went on to carve a five-point lead at the top of the table thanks to goals from Dimitar Berbatov either side of a strike from substitute Javier Hernandez.

Holloway told his post-match press conference: "How disappointed am I that my lads have given that effort, absolutely flat out, pedal to the metal? How can he not see that's a penalty?

"You have got to give them (United) credit. Substitutions on the night, they have got such a great squad, their attitude, everything about them is fantastic.

Proud

"And the tempo that they close you down at, my team wasn't used to it. The last time we faced that was Chelsea and they whooped us, and Arsenal and they absolutely murdered us.

"We have just done that to them (United) and it's 3-2. We could have gone 3-0 up and, do you know what, it wouldn't have been undeserved.

"So, I think we have come a long, long way. I'm sorry that I feel a bit down. Sometimes you need that (the penalty decision) to go for you to convince the lads.

"But I'm sure they know how well they've done and how proud I am of them. I'm sure the more I keep talking about them people will see what I see and they will actually get some credit."

Holloway could also not resist in continuing his spat with Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier who, along with Liverpool, wants to sign Blackpool captain Charlie Adam.

Unsettle

"I don't talk about other team's players," said Holloway, who has seen Adam request a transfer.

"Mr Houllier didn't do that. He said they had offered and we hadn't got back to him and Charlie is really good. What is that to do with him? How unsettling is that?

"Charlie knows I want the best for him.

"You have to work for what you want. I did. My dad did. He worked in a foundry, and Charlie will have to accept what we do.

"Big clubs will come back in for him after this transfer window because he will only fail to make it through injury.

"Everyone in the world can see how good he is going to be."