ALEX Baptiste was the Seasiders’ unlikely goalscoring hero at Crystal Palace – but his choice as man of the match was playing behind him.
Baptiste, who opened his Championship account by slamming home a 40th-minute goal, paid tribute to goalkeeper Matt Gilks for a performance which included two top-notch saves.
Gilks, who looked set to leave in the summer before doing a U-turn and signing a new deal, twice made point-blank stops from headers by Palace defender Paddy McCarthy.
Right-back Baptiste said: “Matt is different class. He has come back from his knee injury and worked his socks off during the pre-season.
“He is an unbelievable keeper and I think he is probably the best in the Championship.
“We know that if we slip up he will be there and more often than not he will get us out of jail.”
On Pool’s previous visit to Selhurst Park two years ago, Baptiste scored a cracker which was wrongly ruled offside.