Blackpool striker nets his reward for hard work

Armand Gnanduillet celebrates scoring Blackpool's second goal in their win at Coventry City
Armand Gnanduillet celebrates scoring Blackpool's second goal in their win at Coventry City
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Terry McPhillips has heaped praise on Armand Gnanduillet after Blackpool’s top scorer finally got himself into double figures for the season.

The 26-year-old scored Blackpool’s second goal in their impressive 2-0 win at Coventry City on Saturday, doubling the lead after Nathan Delfouneso had opened the scoring five minutes earlier.

It was a first goal in eight games for the Frenchman, who now has 10 goals for the campaign.

While Gnanduillet had struggled for goals prior to the weekend’s win at the Ricoh Arena, he was still churning out positive displays for the Seasiders.

But his manager McPhillips was still delighted to see his main forward finally break his scoring duck.

The Pool boss said: “I said before this game that he was phenomenal in training on the Tuesday, he was scoring goals similar to the one he scored.

“I thought he was a real handful in the second half. We asked him to do better and he did.

“I thought his goal summed up his performance.

“Nathan getting a goal helps us as well, but Armand has been different class this season.

“Once we became competitive in the second half Armand had a big part to play in that because his hold-up play was much better and the centre-halves had a torrid time against him.”

Blackpool’s win takes them up to eighth place in League One and six points off the play-offs with a game in hand still to play.

It could have been much different though, with the Seasiders struggling during a first half that Coventry dominated.

Pool were reliant on Coventry’s wastefulness in front of goal as well as goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi, who made a string of fine stops to keep his third clean sheet on the spin and Blackpool’s 14th of the season in the league.

“We looked untroubled-ish after the goals, although they did have a couple of chances but Chris was there to make a save or two,” McPhillips added.

“They had a header just past the post which they might have done better with.

“It wasn’t the complete performance I thought we had at Portsmouth but once we got to half-time I knew we would do better because we normally do and we did. We managed to hold onto a vital three points.”

As well as looking to overcome a Coventry side that at the start of the day were level on points with them, Pool also had to overcome the poor state of the Ricoh Arena pitch, which the Sky Blues share with rugby union side Wasps.

“It does (look similar to Bloomfield Road), it’s heads or tails isn’t it? I don’t know which is worse,” McPhillips said.

“But you’ve got to deal with it and I thought we did in the second half. We did play some good stuff and we were dangerous on the counter, we might have scored a third.

“But we rode our luck first half and you’ve got to give them great credit.

“There’s probably only Luton who have popped it about like that against us this season. But we kept a clean sheet against them as well.”