Coolest customer is in hottest form yet

Blackpool's Craig Cathcart
Blackpool's Craig Cathcart
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IT would be interesting to know if Craig Cathcart ever loses his temper.

One imagines that if someone pushed in front of him in a supermarket queue, he would simply shrug and get on with it.

His calm, unruffled nature has undoubtedly made a major difference to the Seasiders’ defence this season.

He never flaps or panics, he tries to play the ball out from the back instead of just hoofing it, and he can tackle and head with the best of them.

In short, the 22-year-old has been a fantastic signing and worth every penny of the £500,000 Pool paid Manchester United in the summer.

Cathcart, along with defensive partner Ian Evatt, has been magnificent all season and his performance against Tottenham on Tuesday was perhaps his best yet.

There was a moment during the first half when Jermain Defoe seemed certain to score.

The England striker’s shot had been half-parried by Richard Kingson but was looping towards the net. Cathcart defied the odds to arch backwards and head the ball up against his own crossbar and out to safety.

It was a fine clearance – not that you’d never find the ultra-modest and laid-back centre-half bragging about it ... or about anything else for that matter.

“I was in the right place at the right time and just managed to get there. Luckily, I just did enough,” Cathcart said.

“A few other lads made clearances off the line as well. There were some tremendous blocks in and around the area and we needed to do that because Tottenham put us under a lot of pressure.

“But it was a great team display and I think we deserved to win just because of how much effort we put in.”

After a run of five defeats, Pool have bounced back to form with four points from their last two games, climbing to 12th in the table. Cathcart believes the team have stopped the rot and turned the corner.

“It was a massive three points for us,” said the Northern Ireland international.

“Tottenham are in the Champions League and one of the top teams. For us to claim a scalp like that is unbelievable

“We needed it as well after our losing run. We weren’t losing by many but we were conceding goals at the wrong time.

“After the last two results, we can hopefully kick on for the rest of the season.”

Next up is Saturday’s trip to Wolves, a game everyone at Bloomfield Road is describing as huge.

Mick McCarthy’s side are bottom and seven points behind Pool, and it is important they don’t close the gap.

Those pressure-relieving three points against Spurs mean they can approach the trip to Molineux in a more relaxed manner.

Cathcart says: “It’s still a massive game but we are all looking forward to it and hopefully we can do the same job we did against Tottenham.

“We go into every game trying to win, and what’s good about this group of players is that even when we don’t win we always keep our heads up and keep going.”