Blackpool boss has high hopes for giant striker

Armand Gnanduillet
Armand Gnanduillet
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Gary Bowyer has high hopes for new signing Armand Gnanduillet following his first two appearances for Blackpool.

The French striker, signed from Leyton Orient last Friday, made a 25-minute cameo debut against Wycombe the next day, followed by his first start in Tuesday’s 2-0 EFL Cup defeat at Crystal Palace, where he lasted 70 minutes.

It was always going to be hard for Gnanduillet as the lone man up front against a pair of proven Premier League central defenders in Scott Dann and James Tomkins.

However, he showed enough good touches to encourage the travelling supporters. His stand-out moment came three minutes after Pool had fallen behind in the first half, fashioning an opportunity for Jim McAlister which was cleared off the line by James McArthur.

Manager Bowyer said of Ganduillet: “He won his fair share of headers and he set Jim up. That’s his first real bit of football because he’s not had much of a pre-season.

“He’s only going to get better as he gets fitter. He’s not just a big target man – he’s got decent feet and he’s only young (24).

“We’re going to work with him and make him better. He’s showing promising signs from his two appearances so far.”

Having won their first two games of the season, Pool will be seeking to end a run of four without a victory when they return to League Two action at home to Plymouth on Saturday.

Useful as it was for Bowyer’s squad to test themselves against Palace’s £80m-plus starting XI, the manager knows it is more important to improve a recent league record of two points from nine.

The manager said: “We showed promise against Wycombe on Saturday and it’s a case of building from that.

“We came to Palace trying to get through, but we knew it would be a tall order and so it proved. The main focus has certainly got to be in the league.

“If you’ve got anything about you as a footballer, you’ve played against Premier League opposition and it should equip you to play against the type of opposition we face in our league.

“Hopefully we will see a response from that on Saturday.”