Barry Ferguson has urged Blackpool to sort out the future of defender Harrison McGahey quickly.
The 18-year-old has burst on to the scene with superb displays at the heart of Pool’s defence in the last three games.
He is one of three teenagers offered a professional contract at Bloomfield Road two weeks ago after impressing for the title-winning U18s.
While young players are often quick to accept the terms offered, McGahey’s rapid progress to the first-team may tempt him to hold out for a better deal.
But Ferguson stressed the situation needs to be resolved. The Pool boss said: “Blackpool have one hell of a player on their hands and they need to get him sorted out, otherwise they’ll miss out on a top player.
“It’s important because he’s an excellent player. He’s such a grounded boy and I like that. He’s last off the training pitch and he still helps the staff bring the kit in.
“That makes me smile because you don’t see that too often. He cleans my boots too! I like him a lot.”
Because Pool have offered the Preston-born defender a contract, he can’t walk away from Bloomfield Road for free.
Any other club wishing to sign him would have to pay the Seasiders compensation because McGahey is under 23.
His displays against Burnley, Brighton and Wigan won him many admirers, none more so his own boss.
Ferguson added: “He made a mistake or two on Saturday but I couldn’t care less. He looks like he’s been in our back four for 10 years.”
McGahey is likely to keep his place for Saturday’s season-ending visit of Charlton, when Pool bid to seal their Championship survival.
The task facing Ferguson’s side will become clearer tonight, when relegation rivals Birmingham and Charlton play their game in hand at home to Wigan and Watford respectively.
Defeat for either Birmingham or Charlton would leave Pool requiring just a point on Saturday to be sure of safety.