BLACKPOOL manager Michael Appleton admitted Wes Thomas is showing he can make the grade in the Championship after he opened the scoring in the victory over struggling Blackburn.
Appleton remains unbeaten as the Seasiders manager after Thomas headed his side ahead after 22 minutes and Kirk Broadfoot wrapped up the win with nine minutes to go.
The goal was Thomas’ second for Blackpool since joining on loan from League One Bournemouth in November.
And after seeing his side move to within four points of a play-off place, Appleton believes the on-loan striker is on the right track.
“Wes Thomas has been answering all the questions we have had about whether or not he can do it at this level, he just needs to continue working hard,” he said.
“Nathan Delfouneso and Thomas Ince give us great width and can go past players and to have them available means we will always be a threat.
“We have defended well recently and I thought the back four were very good as was Matthew Gilks in goal.
“A few people got frustrated when we were drawing some games but now we are progressing nicely although I imagine there will be some comings and goings in the January window.
“It was a good time to play Blackburn here but they will kick on again at some point because they have the talent.
“I feel for Henning Berg as I would for any manager under pressure.
“It takes time to bring your own ideas into a club and bring in a nucleus of players that you believe in.”
Blackburn actually started the brightest and Jordan Rhodes and Simon Vukcevic were both denied by Gilks before Thomas scored against the run of play.
Broadfoot made sure when he was left unmarked at a corner and after a fourth defeat in five games, Blackburn manager Henning Berg admitted his side were feeling the pressure.
“We were desperate to win and play well and I think we showed that in the opening half,” he said.
“I don’t know how much the players heard of what was being shouted at them by the fans but I don’t think too much about my own position.
“All our players tried their best but when you are lacking in confidence you become indecisive.
“I am focussed on doing the best I can to improve the team but if our early chances had gone in it could have been a different game.
“We just have to keep working and if we do that then we will score more goals and the wins will come.
“I can understand the fans being frustrated but they should all know that their frustration is shared by the players and myself.
“Blackpool were the better team after half-time and put us under a lot of pressure and we ended up giving away another goal away to another free header.”