Craig could be real star at Blackpool

Blackpool's Craig Sutherland celebrates his goal with Thomas Ince
Blackpool's Craig Sutherland celebrates his goal with Thomas Ince
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CRAIG Sutherland hopes he has given his new boss Ian Holloway sleepless nights for the rest of the week.

The Scot is aiming to cap a fairytale month by earning a call up for the Seasiders’ Championship opener at Hull on Friday.

Sutherland, who has gone from being a university player in Texas to a professional footballer, did his chances of selection no harm with another impressive outing in yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.

Cheered on by his mum and dad, who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by making the journey from their Edinburgh home to Bramall Lane, Sutherland scored his second goal in successive games and was the stand-out performer in Tangerine.

All of which leaves boss Holloway with a tough decision – should he throw the rookie 22-year-old in at Hull?

If that happens it would be a remarkable tale, for only a few weeks ago Sutherland was an unemployed graduate looking for a job.

But spotted by Kim Holloway on a DVD (“this lad looks worth watching, Ian,” she said, or so the story goes), Sutherland has signed a two-year deal at Bloomfield Road and admits the start of his Blackpool career couldn’t really have gone much better.

After following up his first Pool goal against FK Jelgava with another against the Blades – a neat left-foot finish after a run into the penalty area – Sutherland said: “I have surprised myself a little with how I’ve settled, but when you are a striker it is easier when you are surrounded by better players ... and that’s what it is like here.

“I am just trying to keep my feet firmly on the ground, and I am certainly not thinking I am anything special just because I’ve scored a couple of goals in pre-season.

“I am just trying to become a player and at the moment this whole situation is still just a dream come true. I was just trying to get my foot in the door, and doing that at Blackpool makes it even better.

“I have only ever played university football before, so what has happened over the last month has been a massive thing for me.

“The fact that I’ve got a two-year deal, with a two-year option, gives me a bit of security and time to try to prove myself.

“I don’t think I have anything to worry about. I just have to play and hopefully it is good enough to get me in the team. My aim is to be in the starting 11 by the end of the season.

“But things have gone well so far and I maybe I’ve done enough to give Ollie some decisions to make. Maybe I can come off the bench (at Hull).

“However, there are good players in the team, so I’ve got to fight my way in.”

Sutherland is going about it the right way.

Coming on after half-time at Bramall Lane, he contributed to a better second-half performance by Blackpool and scored the equaliser.