Paul Ince praised the character of his depleted troops as youngster Tom Barkhuizen climbed off the bench to score his first goal for the club and give Blackpool a 1-0 win over Reading.
In a low-key affair the Seasiders had to utilise the full depth of their squad with 20-year-old Barkhuizen proving the surprise winner, firing home from just outside the area in the 75th minute.
And while Ince revealed Barkhuizen would have probably been watching from the stands if he had been able to select a full strength XI he was delighted with the effort of his players as they moved to the top of the table on goal difference.
“I’m happy we’ve won against a team that will be up there for promotion at the end of the season,” said Ince.
“When you look at us, talent alone won’t win you matches, you have to have a bit extra and that’s what got us through.
“We lost (Craig) Cathcart, (Isaiah) Osbourne before the game and then (Gary) Mackenzie during the game. How he isn’t in the Scotland squad absolute staggers me.
“It wasn’t the greatest game but when you’ve got 20 minutes to go and you’ve got a midfielder at right-back, a left-back on the wing, a striker in midfield, we didn’t let it bother us.
“If I had a full strength squad Tom Barkhuizen might not have been on the bench. I told him to enjoy the moment and don’t think about it too much.
“He’s been chomping at the bit and I thought he’d missed his chance to shoot but he took it so well. His composure was superb, he didn’t panic.”