Gary Bowyer said Viv Solomon-Otabor “owed” Blackpool a performance on his return to the team against Plymouth Argyle.
The winger missed the Seasiders’ 3-2 defeat to Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day following what the manager described as a “disciplinary matter”.
But the 21-year-old returned to the fold against the Pilgrims at Bloomfield Road on Saturday and was given an early chance to impress off the bench, replacing the injured Andy Taylor after just 25 minutes.
Solomon-Otabor, who recently extended his loan from Birmingham City until the end of the season, repaid the manager’s faith with an impressive display grabbing Blackpool’s equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time to secure a 2-2 draw ahead of the New Year's Day trip to Rochdale.
Bowyer said: “He owed us that to be honest, so it was only right he should do that. It was a disciplinary problem and it was dealt with on Boxing Day.
“We moved on straight away but I’m delighted with the way he responded.”
The point was the least Pool deserved, having had 20 attempts on goal compared to Plymouth’s seven.
But it could have been much worse for Bowyer’s men, who appeared to be heading for their fourth straight defeat on home turf when goals from Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey gave Plymouth a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Colin Daniel pulled one back before Solomon-Otabor’s dramatic late equaliser and Bowyer added: “I thought we started off okay, not bad.”
"But again we’re talking about our first goal being a poor goal from our point of view. It was soft and not good enough.
“The second goal is obviously a wonder strike from their lad and fair play to him, but we’ve watched him run from one end of the pitch to the other and not done anything about it. So we’re disappointed with that.
“We’re talking about a great response from being 2-0 down but the fact of the matter is Plymouth have had two shots on goal and took a point off us.
“At the moment we’ve got to score two goals to get a point and that’s not acceptable.
“I was delighted with the response of the three subs (Solomon-Otabor, Dolly Menga and Nathan Delfouneso).
“We brought on some pace and power and it put them on the back foot.
“It was one-way traffic second half. Now we’ve just got to recovery very quickly and go again.”
It is a quick turnaround for Blackpool, who will be looking for only their second win in their last 13 outings when they make the short journey to Spotland to take on Dale..