JASON Puncheon is finding himself at the centre of the Seasiders’ fight for Premier League survival, despite being a League One player.
The frontman is on loan from Southampton, and prior to arriving at Bloomfield Road in January he had never before played at the top level.
But the 24-year-old has slotted in with few problems.
After coming off the bench at Tottenham last week to tilt the game in Pool’s favour, the tricky Puncheon was thrown in from the start against Bolton on Saturday.
He responded with a third goal in five starts for the club – following strikes against Everton and Chelsea – and left manager Ian Holloway admitting he wished he had signed Puncheon on a permanent deal.
The manager said: “We’ve only borrowed him, which is a shame. I wish we had already bought him because I think he is a terrific lad.
“He looks to me as if he slots in with everything about this football club. It is no mean feat to jump up two levels and look really comfortable but he has, so well done to him.
“I told him to cut in against (Bolton left-back) Paul Robinson, who is all left-footed.
“I wanted him to use his left foot and get a strike on goal, which he did really well.
“I wanted DJ Campbell on the opposite side to do that against the right-back (Gretar) Steinsson and I wanted Gary Taylor-Fletcher to link it all.
“I think those three were so effective on the day.
“We looked to play off them early and we were very good at it, unlike we were at, say, Fulham.
“It wasn’t the people who were playing at Fulham, it was what they thought I wanted them to do.
“Against Bolton we got it spot on.”