Scribbled notes for Ian Holloway’s pre-match team talk this Sunday have been discovered in a hedgerow near Lytham St Annes.
They were found by a passing dog-walker who earlier witnessed a short bald man in a tracksuit, who he initially assumed was a day-release patient from a local asylum, reading aloud from the A4 sheets to bemused grazing cattle.
On returning from a brisk stroll along the popular coastal trail the man spied the scrunched up pieces of paper fluttering amongst the brambles and promptly called the Cutter.

This Sunday presents Holloway with one of the biggest challenges in his colourful managerial career so far as he prepares his Blackpool side to face the league champions at Old Trafford knowing that defeat, and even probably a draw, would see them relegated. Meanwhile, in an astonishing five-way scrap for survival Blackburn, Wolves, Birmingham and Wigan also face the drop unless they too pick up points on this the final day of an extraordinary season.
Managers often attempt to down-play the significance of their motivational pre-match ramblings, preferring to highlight the importance of team selection and tactics. However, with just one point separating all five clubs a stirring rallying call over a half-hearted pep talk could ultimately prove to be the difference between remaining in the top-flight or cruel, bitter heartbreak.

Alas our lawyers have instructed us that we are unable to print the full transcript of Holloway’s speech, which is oddly peppered with love-hearts and crude doodles of animals along with a huge cock and balls. We are legally permitted though to publish a bullet-point list of its contents.
Here, in heavily abridged form, is what Adams and co can look forward to hearing at five-to-four this Sunday afternoon.

– Holloway’s love for Heinz Toast Toppers

– How he never got to know his mother as much as he’d like, something that he still regrets to this very day

– Wondering aloud whatever happened to that lovely TV presenter Carol Smillie

– Dialogue, quoted word-for-word, from Time Bandits

– A lengthy rant about a malfunctioning gearbox in a Lexus he once owned

– A stern reminder to the players to make sure they bow, or ideally kneel, to Sir Alex Ferguson, the ‘greatest human being that’s ever been born on this fantastic place we call Earth’.

– A nonsensical, underlined, observation that simply states – ‘You don’t make lemonade from badger’s piss’.

– A rather poetic passage regarding the futility of hope in the absence of God and how it can be overcome with endeavour and grave.

– Ian recounts a time as a young buy when he struggled to open a packet of Hubba Bubba – a hindrance he blames on the incompetent clowns at FIFA – but eventually prevailed. He then encountered the dispiriting sensation of the bubble bursting (‘I was totally gutted’) only to create new and bigger bubbles through the perseverance of chewing.

– Drilling home the importance of each player to stay ‘touch-tight’ to his designated man at corners Holloway writes, ‘You don’t cut your toenails whilst pleasuring your missus.’

– A startling admission to being sexually aroused by Red, from 80s show Fraggle Rock.

– Urging his players to swap boots with the guy next to him and wear them for the pre-match warm-up.

– Equating the human heart to a hot-air balloon.

– Unfavourably comparing Claire Balding to ‘two tonnes of horse manure’.

– Offering an impassioned defence of the much maligned Tom Cruise vehicle Knight and Day.
(Holloway had evidently seen the film the previous evening on DVD)

– Likening his side to Jossy’s Giants, George Lazenby, the raisons in muesli, the complete back catalogue of Elvis Costello, the gunpowder plot, and the former communist state of Czechoslovakia.

We only wish we could fully explain how each of the above elements seamlessly merges together into an inspirational soliloquy of pure madness but unfortunately the law forbids us.

We can however confidently predict how a couple of Holloway’s rivals may proceed with their respective team talks as their day of reckoning approaches.
Mick McCarthy will no doubt instruct his side, in a gruff no-nonsense fashion, to ‘lump it to the big lad’, ‘get it in the mixer’, and ‘give them something to think about.’
Whilst Blackburn’s Steve Keen will spend the minutes before kick-off reminding his players who he is and that he is indeed their manager for the day.