'He was outstanding': Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips full of praise for Leeds United loanee Paudie O'Connor

Paudie O'Connor celebrates after pulling a goal back for Blackpool at the Emirates
Paudie O'Connor celebrates after pulling a goal back for Blackpool at the Emirates

Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips singled Paudie O'Connor out for praise after the centre back came out of the cold to star in the Seasiders' narrow Carabao Cup defeat to Arsenal.

READ MORE: Terry McPhillips so proud of Blackpool team that gave Arsenal a Carabao Cup fright

Prior to last night's game, the Leeds United loanee had only made nine appearances this season, just five of them in the league.

He's found himself behind Curtis Tilt, Donervon Daniels and Ben Heneghan in the pecking order but he was given a chance to show what he can do in last night's cup clash at the Emirates.

The opportunity came after Tilt served a one-game suspension and Daniels missed out with a hamstring injury he picked up before Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Fleetwood Town.

Both O'Connor and Heneghan were in superb form against Arsenal last time, and it was O'Connor who pulled a goal back to set up a thrilling finish, having earlier hit the crossbar.

But his night was abruptly ended five minutes from time when he was harshly sent off for a late foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

McPhillips said: “He was outstanding and he’s been the most unlucky (not to play more), I’ve said that before.

“To not have played for so long and to come in and play how he played, and then to be a real threat, is impressive.

"And what a night he’s had being sent off with five to go. It was really harsh.

I thought the referee and his assistants did great but I didn’t think Paudie’s was a straight red, I thought it was a yellow.

“I couldn’t believe it when he went for his top pocket and pulled out the red. I’ve watched it back and I still don’t think it was a red.

“It went to VAR, so what do I know? But I don’t think it’s a red card in League One, it’s a yellow.

“If it was a yellow it would have kept us in the ascendancy and we would have had another chance, there’s no doubt. So that was taken away from us.

“But full credit to the lads, they were brilliant.”