STEPHEN Crainey has been praised to the hilt for taking a knock and coming back stronger.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway says the left-back has the best attitude of all the players he has ever managed.
And his view has been reinforced by Crainey’s response to being axed.
Crainey didn’t sulk when he lost his place to Bob Harris last month. He got his head down in training and waited for his chance – and has been bang in-form since returning to the side.
Holloway says he had no doubts Crainey, who has racked up more than 180 appearances in five years with the Seasiders, would react the right way. The Pool boss said: “Stephen took being left out absolutely brilliantly. Put it this way: we took eight points out of 12 while he was out and no-one was more pleased about those results than he was!
“Sometimes in football you get dropped, but it didn’t mean I suddenly didn’t like him or he was no longer needed – of course he is. He is a fantastic player and has the best attitude I’ve ever known as a manager.
“He didn’t even deserve to be dropped. Nor did Barry Ferguson, who was also left out for a couple of games.
“Stephen hadn’t done anything wrong but I wanted to make a change and it worked. Bob came in and did brilliantly.
“But it is all about how your senior pros take decisions. It isn’t about their love of me, it is about their respect for each other.
“Stephen respects how Bob has trained day in, day out. He understood that we had lost a couple of games and that I wanted to make some changes.
“He didn’t want it to be him who was left out but his reaction wasn’t to sulk, it was to say, ‘Come on, let’s keep winning’. That is brilliant and is why we have been successful. I’m lucky to have lads like him.”