BLACKPOOL manager Ian Holloway has insisted that Saturday’s trip to Ewood Park is not a ‘must win’ fixture – but he still spent a weekend break in Scotland preparing for the game by watching DVDs of Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers, who were not in action at the weekend because of their early exit from the FA Cup, take on the Tangerines in a Lancashire derby crunch clash at Ewood – with both sides currently just one point clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Holloway turned 48 on Satur-day and celebrated by having a weekend away with his wife by Loch Lomond, but the forth-coming fixture against Rovers was never far from his mind.

“Just when my wife thought we were going to spend all day being romantic and soppy, I put the mockers on it by whipping out a few DVDs which I’d sneaked in the suitcase,” said the Blackpool boss, who will welcome star midfielder Charlie Adam back from suspension for the crunch clash at Ewood Park.

“They were Blackburn Rovers’ last few matches and I spent all night watching them.

“I don’t think Kim was too impressed but to be honest there are only a couple of things I want as a birthday present – a win over Rovers next weekend and top flight survival.

“This really is crunch time and I couldn’t be more excited,” he added.

“Nine games to go. Can we keep Blackpool in the Premier League?

“I absolutely and utterly believe we can and that’s what I’ll spend all week talking to the lads about.

“The game with Blackburn should be a cracker, number one because of where the teams are in the table and, secondly, the fact it is a Lancashire derby.

“I think it will be more of a humdinger than usual and not one for the faint-hearted.

“But what I don’t want is people saying that it is a ‘massive’ match or a ‘must win’ or any of that rubbish.

“I know the fans like talking in those terms but it really is nonsense.

“If I went into my dressing room before the Blackburn match and said to my lads, ‘We’ve got to win this this, it is the most important game of the season, we have to do it’, how would they be able to play?

“The team would be a bag of nerves.

“If we lost at Blackburn we are not going to get relegated – and on the flipside, if we win, we aren’t guaranteed staying up.”