Bowyer hails striker's sacrifice

Gary Bowyer paid tribute to Pool striker Jamille Matt
Gary Bowyer paid tribute to Pool striker Jamille Matt
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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer took the unusual step of singling out just one player after his side’s vital win at Doncaster Rovers – striker Jamille Matt.

The 27-year-old who, it’s fair to say, has been a bit part player this season, was brought off the bench with 20 minutes to go as they searched for a late goal against the 10-man table toppers.

He played a major role in the first of two penalties Blackpool were awarded although it was the second, dispatched by Jordan Flores, that proved to be the decisive blow as the Seasiders returned to the top seven in League Two.

Bowyer revealed at full time that the striker had opted to play on with an injured hamstring, even when the Pool boss advised him to come off.

He said: “I’m not usually one for singling out players am I? But I’ve got to single out Jamille Matt because he went on and he was a handful.

“He was involved in the first penalty and had even pulled his hamstring before that. I wanted to take him off but he wouldn’t come off.

“That’s a massive sacrifice to put himself through and that’s probably put him out for the season now.

“He didn’t want to come off and that’s testament to him and his desire for the group.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in all my time being involved in a team. That was immense.”

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Matt, who has just five goals to his name this season, has found playing time hard to come by this season thanks to the form of Kyle Vassell and Mark Cullen, who had bagged four goals in six games before being dropped back to the bench.

But on Monday Bowyer opted to play with Nathan Delfouneso up front on his own in what appeared to be a defensive formation to stifle the league leaders.

Matt isn’t the only injury worry for the Seasiders, with Jack Payne also hobbling off with what looked to be a back injury.

That compounded the misery for Bowyer after he was dealt a blow pre-match when striker and top scorer Kyle Vassell was ruled out through injury.

The Pool boss added: “Jack Payne got a whack early on and he’s just stiffened up but we expect him to be fit for the weekend.

“It just seized up and I think his back just went into spasm. So that’s that.

“But we also had the blow of losing Kyle Vassell on Sunday and he was nowhere near it after taking a knock.

“We thought Kyle had a chance to be fit for Doncaster but sadly that wasn’t the case and hopefully he’ll be fit for the weekend as well

“Colin Daniel had just become a proud father for the first time so he missed out as well.

“So we wish him and his wife all the very best with that.”