Gary Bowyer has heaped praise on Armand Gnanduillet after watching his in-form striker net a third goal in as many games in Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Carlisle.
The Frenchman bagged the all-important equaliser as Bowyer’s Tangerines fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a well-earned draw at Bloomfield Road.
Gnanduillet’s second-half goal was almost a carbon copy of his strike at Colchester seven days earlier, racing through on goal and calmly slotting home after powerfully shrugging off a defender.
Bowyer said it was a goal the 24-year-old’s all-round game deserved.
The Pool boss said: “He’s got some real strength and that’s a real plus for us.
“I’m delighted for him on a personal level but it was a massive team effort as well.”
Gnanduillet produced a sterling performance against the Cumbrians, running the channels smartly and causing a constant headache to the backline.
The striker was replaced by Colin Daniel in the dying moments of the game against the unbeaten Carlisle, hobbling off with an injury.
Bowyer added: “He worked his socks off and he was running on empty at the end, so we just had to get another body on.
“We had four forwards on at the end, just going gung- ho trying to get that winner. I think we finished really strongly and that’s all credit to this group.”
Gnanduillet has been one of Pool’s most impressive performers this season, scoring three in just four starts since signing from Leyton Orient just over a month ago.
The former Ivory Coast Under-20s player scored 10 goals last season, when he played for three different clubs – Chesterfield, Stevenage (0n loan) and Leyton Orient.
But despite his impressive run of form for Blackpool, Gnanduillet faces strong competition for his place in the starting line-up, with the return to fitness of Jamille Matt, Danny Philliskirk and Mark Cullen.
Those three are all back from spells on the sidelines, though fellow forward Jack Redshaw is still some way from full fitness after a shin splints problem.
Club captain Danny Pugh sat out Saturday’s match with a foot injury, although Bowyer believes the midfielder’s problem is not serious.
The manager said: “He’s got a little bit of bone bruising on his foot, which is a blow for us given the experience and leadership he brings.
“We’re hopeful that he might be fit for Saturday.”