Gary Bowyer says the arrival of on-loan goalkeeper Joe Lumley has made a “massive difference” to his Blackpool side.
Since Lumley clinched his loan move from QPR until the end of the season, the Seasiders have managed to keep five clean sheets from their last 10 games.
The latest shutout came in Blackpool’s 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night, a victory that saw the Seasiders climb up to 14th in the League One table.
“It’s a huge credit to everybody involved,” Bowyer said.
“We’ve worked hard on being difficult to play against, being competitive and trying to keep clean sheets.
“The goalkeeper has come in and has made a massive difference, there’s no doubt about that. He’s given confidence to the back four.
“Goalkeepers get a lot of stick but there’s no better sight than seeing your goalkeeper come and claim a cross and relieving the pressure.
“He’s done that time and time again for us.
“Joe can be as good as he wants to be and can go to a high level. He’s still only young.
“He went out on loan last year at Bristol Rovers. I remember speaking to Marcus Stewart down there and he loved him.
“He’s come in here and done brilliantly. I’m sure he’ll go back to QPR and try and get that number one spot.
“I think in years to come we’ll be talking about a very high-class goalkeeper, I rate him that highly.
“He was even disappointed with one or two of the goals he conceded in the 3-0 defeat at Blackburn, which just shows you the standards he’s set for himself. I thought he was being a little harsh on himself but that’s just what he’s like.”
While keeping clean sheets is invaluable, Bowyer has also stressed the need to be more clinical at the other end of the pitch.
Blackpool dominated from start to finish against Charlton in midweek but wasted a glut of chances, before eventually winning it in stoppage time courtesy of Jimmy Ryan’s strike.
“To keep the clean sheets is important, but we’ve also created the chances at the other end and we should have won more football matches,” Bowyer added.
“I watched Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“Yes I know it’s Barcelona but they’re a great example to any team.
“Chelsea went there and played well. But they had a little lad playing for them – I don’t know if you know him – called Messi.
“He just shows you the value of being ruthless and clinical. I wonder what he’s doing in the summer?”