Blackpool midfielder reaps the rewards of hard work

John O'Sullivan started in attack for Blackpool against Barnsley
John O'Sullivan started in attack for Blackpool against Barnsley
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Terry McPhillips says John O’Sullivan’s hard-working nature is the reason why he opted to play the Blackpool midfielder in attack against Barnsley.

The 25-year-old made just his third league start of the season in the 1-0 defeat on Saturday, partnering Armand Gnanduillet in attack.

Although Joe Dodoo and Mark Cullen were missing with injuries, Pool still had Nathan Delfouneso and Steve Davies available, but McPhillips instead opted to play the midfielder up front.

“I’ve known John for a long time, I had him in the youth team at Blackburn,” McPhillips said.

“Probably his best position is the number 10 or wide right, you could argue, but circumstances with Joe Dodoo getting injured on Tuesday (meant he played up front).

“Johnno has been chomping at the bit and to be fair to him he’s had the best two chances. One the goalie saved and the other one the spin and hit, which I thought was in. If it was on target it would have been a goal.

“So he’s been our best goal threat if you like and he’s just a good lad. He makes mistakes but he works his socks off and he has a right good go. He’s got a great attitude and I like him a lot.

“So it was always going to be him up there with Armand but it wasn’t to be.”

With Pool chasing the game after Cameron McGeehan’s 59th minute goal for Barnsley, many Blackpool fans will have wondered why Delfouneso was left on the bench.

But McPhillips says he can have no complaints given the way he performed in Pool’s 3-2 FA Cup second round replay win against Solihull Moors.

When asked if Delfouneso was carrying a knock, McPhillips replied: “No he’s 100 per cent fit but he didn’t play very well the other night and that’s how we’re doing it.

“Nathan knows that and he will get his chance again, quickly I would say. And he’ll have to do better than he did on Tuesday night.”

Pool, who head to Rochdale today, have picked up a few injuries of late, with Curtis Tilt the latest to pick up a knock in Saturday’s defeat against Barnsley.

McPhillips said: “It’s the time of the year, isn’t it?

“I think we’ve got one or two who are getting closer. I don’t think Ollie Turton is too far off now.

“But it’s the state of the pitches and we are picking up a few.”