Barry Ferguson is backing Tom Barkhuizen to have a big future at Blackpool.
The 21-year-old is finally becoming a regular in the first-team squad after more than a decade at the club.
Following loans spells at Hereford and Fleetwood, the striker finally got his chance at Bloomfield Road this season.
Barkhuizen fractured and dislocated his collarbone in January but has come off the bench in Pool’s last two matches, and Ferguson has seen enough to predict a bright future for the Blackpool-born attacker.
The Pool boss said: “I can see a lot in Tom. We just need to work with him. He’s got attributes that can win us games.”
Barkhuizen has scored twice this season and had a wonderful chance for a third which would have won the match for Pool at QPR on Saturday.
“On another day his chance could have gone in,” added Ferguson. “He’s still a young boy and we have a lot of work to do with him.
“But he can be another big player for Blackpool’s future.”
Both Barkhuizen’s goals were stunners – an individual effort which sealed victory over Reading in August and a long-range strike at Bolton in the FA Cup.
Ferguson said: “All managers are different and see different things in players, and I see something in Tom.
“He needs to get a bit stronger and work on his finishing, but he’s willing to do it.
“He’s been used to me moaning at him for a few years. I’ll be on his case every single day.
“If he wants to improve, then great; if he doesn’t, then he won’t be here.”
Pool earned a vital point at Loftus Road but it could have been three had Barkhuizen finished in the dying moments.
“Tom has done well to get in that position,” Ferguson said.
“That’s why I put him on – I knew he would cause problems.
“He got into a good position and on another day would score from there, but he’ll learn from it and will improve the more he plays.”