Southern comfort for Holloway
Ian Holloway was full of praise for Keith Southern after his return against Sheffield Wednesday.
Last Updated: 28/01/12 7:35pm
Ian Holloway was full of praise for Keith Southern after naming the midfielder captain in Blackpool's FA Cup draw with Sheffield Wednesday - just two months after an operation to remove a tumour from one of his testicles.
Southern - playing in his first game since November - was made captain for the day by the Tangerines boss and received a fantastic reception from the Bloomfield Road faithful as Kevin Phillips' last-gasp penalty cancelled out Clinton Morrison's opener to salvage a replay for the hosts.
The 30-year-old, who lay on the ground suffering from a nasty-looking cut on his ankle as the Owls scored, is a tower of mental strength according to his manager.
"I gave him the captaincy because he thoroughly deserves it and now he's gone and got another cut - life is a funny thing," said Holloway.
"He's got somewhere to slip his pyjamas now, I've never seen a gash like it, it's a great big hole.
"Even that bout of cancer he had didn't keep him out for more than five weeks, so it's only a little gash.
"We let him have some time off. He's all clear at the moment but the problem is that worry you're going to have to keep checking and when it is the 'c' word - it's horrible.
"I've never known a bloke mentally as strong as him on and off the pitch. We're one big family here.
"It was quite a nasty tackle, I thought, over the top of the ball - stamped on his ankle. He didn't realise how bad it was, he didn't even want treatment."
Wednesday, pushing for promotion from League One, looked good value for the victory until Gary Taylor-Fletcher was hauled down by Danny Batth and Phillips fired home from the spot, leaving Owls boss Gary Megson lamenting a fixture pile-up.
"I'm really disappointed, not surprised but disappointed. I thought that was the only way they were going to score, unless it was something special from distance," he said.
"If it was a penalty it looked really soft, I didn't think it was. You saw from both line-ups what the competition is, we both want to go through but obviously there is an importance attached to the league fixtures, but the game was played in a proper competitive spirit.
"It was a little bit nip and tuck, we wanted to try and get the result away from home but once we did score we wanted to keep hold of what we've got.
"One of the problems with the FA Cup for teams like ourselves is each time we get through a round we have to postpone a game and we're near enough playing Tuesday, Saturday for the next few weeks."