As loan assignments go, Leicester City probably couldn’t have been happier with the one which confronted Michael Cain on Tuesday night.
Having loaned out Cain to the Seasiders for the season, the Foxes may not have expected the 21-year-old to come up against a pair of established Premier League midfielders during his time at Bloomfield Road.
Yet that’s exactly what happened when Pool were beaten 2-0 in their EFL Cup second- round tie by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Recalled to the starting line-up as boss Gary Bowyer tweaked his tactics, Cain found himself trying to outwit Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur
Cain, whose only senior appearance for the Foxes to date was at the same stage of the same competition two years ago, said: “Obviously it was a good test for the lads to see where we’re at.
“Palace are a good outfit but I think our centre-halves were top-drawer and we will learn from our mistakes.
“That happens because they are a great footballing side and they showed where we are at.
“They had a lot of the ball and we conceded goals at the wrong time, which was hard to take.
“We tried to manage their opportunities as much as we could and we tried our best, but they are a good team.
“For a club like Blackpool to be drawn against a team like Palace is brilliant. It’s where the team should be.
“I think the defeat was down to our own mistakes but we will learn from them. Palace are a good outfit and I think we have done ourselves proud.”
Cain signed for Pool the day before the season began and made his third start at Palace, having been in and out of Bowyer’s team in the first three weeks.
An unused substitute for the opening day win against Exeter City, he started the next two games against Bolton Wanderers and Morecambe.
He came off the bench at Barnet but failed to figure at all in the goalless draw with Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday.
The aim now is to become a regular starter during the course of his season-long stay and to help the Seasiders in their bid for an immediate return to League One.
Cain said: “I’m trying to adapt to the way we play. I feel that in the games I’ve played we’ve done all right.
“Hopefully I can impress and can get into the starting team.
“The manager said to me that he likes my flexibility in that I can play different positions – wherever he puts me I’m happy to play.
“Now we’re returning to the league and we have a mountain to climb to get to where we want to be.
“But if we can continue how we’re playing, then I think we can get there.”