Peter Crouch recalls fondly his days working under the manager of tonight’s opponents Blackpool, Ian Holloway, during his time at QPR.
Holloway took over the helm at Loftus Road halfway through Peter’s one season there 10 years ago as they fought to stay in the Championship.
They failed to do so and ‘Crouchy’ was sold to Portsmouth the following summer to raise funds, while ‘Olly’ led Rangers back into the second tier during a successful five-year spell.
Now their paths cross again as we travel to Bloomfield Road for the first time in a Premier League fixture after more managerial magic from Holloway to lead them into the top flight last season.
‘Crouchy’ said: “I’ve played under Ian Holloway at QPR and he’s a top, top man, a great manager to play under.
“He’s a great character, so bubbly, lively, funny and great to have around the place. He loves his players and if you’re doing well for him he’s great with you.
“He was great with me for the short time we worked together and I’ve got a great deal of respect for him.
“He’s done a fantastic job at Blackpool, and although we’re going there to get the three points, I hope they stay up.”
‘Crouchy’ is no doubt still coming down from the high of scoring that memorable winning goal in our Champions League, Round of 16 first leg win over AC Milan at the San Siro last week.
But he feels the visit to Blackpool is just as key as we look to maintain our status in Europe’s elite competition for another season, and we go to Lancashire on the back of three straight away wins in all competitions.
The striker added: “We’ve got no doubts this will be a difficult game. It will be a different challenge [to Milan] but one that is equally as important because we need to win games like this if we want to be in the Champions League and playing at places like the San Siro again next year.
“We’ve been on a good run and gone to difficult places and won games. Hopefully we can continue that at Blackpool because it will be a tough game.
“But if we apply ourselves in the right way, as I’m sure we will, we have enough ability to go and get three points.”