Gary Bowyer has paid tribute to striker Jack Redshaw after the forward made his long-awaited Blackpool comeback.
The 26-year-old was given a 20-minute run-out at the end of Pool’s Checkatrade Trophy win at Doncaster on Tuesday night and tucked away his penalty in the 8-7 shoot-out victory.
It was Redshaw’s first game of the season following a recurring shin injury, having been a regular in his first season at the club and making 38 appearances.
Manager Bowyer said: “We’re absolutely delighted he’s back on the pitch.
“He’s going to have to get used to the pace of the game and now it’s a case of bringing him back slowly but surely.
“It’s been a frustrating time for him but the strength of character he’s got has been brilliant. We said that in the meeting before the game.
“I’m delighted that he got on and scored his penalty as well.”
Bowyer was also full of praise for some of his fringe players who were given a chance to shine in Pool’s second-round win.
The manager opted to make 10 changes from the side that saw off Brackley Town in the FA Cup last weekend, meaning the club is likely to face another fine.
Bowyer said of his players: “They are quick to knock on your door and ask why they’re not playing, and rightly so.
“I’ve got a good bunch of lads who want to play football and you saw that against Doncaster. Collectively they were terrific.”
He singled out strikers Armand Gnanduillet and Mark Cullen, who combined for Pool’s goal in the 1-1 draw which preceded the shoot-out at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The Frenchman volleyed his fifth goal of the season from Cullen’s knockdown in the first half.
“They were a real handful,” Bowyer said. “The workrate between the two was tremendous and the link-up play was ever so good. It was a great finish from Armand and the knockback from Cullen was terrific as well.
“I do feel sorry for Mark – he’s been the victim of bad timing in terms of injuries this season.
“He’s working his socks off every game in training and he had a couple of great opportunities at Doncaster.
But he scored with his penalty, so that will give him a boost.”