Terry McPhillips expects Blackpool striker to be a wanted man next month

Armand Gnanduillet impressed against Rochdale on Boxing Day
Armand Gnanduillet impressed against Rochdale on Boxing Day
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Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips is expecting there to be interest in his top scorer Armand Gnanduillet when the January transfer window opens.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed his best season at the club to date, netting nine times in 28 appearances.

But it is not just his goals that have helped Pool to eighth place in League One, it is also his all-round game that has improved.

That was certainly noticeable at Rochdale on Boxing Day, when the striker set up Michael Nottingham’s goal before leading the line admirably when Pool were reduced to 10 men.

McPhillips believes those sort of performances won’t be going unmissed by other clubs on the lookout for a new forward.

The Pool boss said: “I thought Armand was superb and it was a brilliant bit of play (to set up Nottingham’s goal).

“It was a lovely set and Notts finished it with aplomb.

“I’ve seen some good strikers in this league and that usually makes the difference, but I’d be surprised if no one is coming in for him this window.”

When asked if Pool will be able to keep hold of him should a bid be forthcoming, McPhillips added: “I don’t know, but I thought he was superb. He’s a player who is getting better all the time.

“I don’t know the answer but he was as good as I’ve seen him physically, technically and tactically getting hold of it.

“He gave their centre-halves a real hard time, for the majority of it on his own.”

Gnanduillet was almost the hero at Spotland on Wednesday, coming agonisingly close with a stoppage-time overhead kick that would have earned Blackpool a crucial point.

“I was really hoping it was in, I was trying to suck it into the net,” McPhillips added.

“It would have been the least we deserved, but it wasn’t to be so we’ll have to dust ourselves down and go again down at Wimbledon.”

McPhillips will have plenty of decisions to make over team selection at Wimbledon today, with the possibility of having Curtis Tilt, Ollie Turton and Donervon Daniels back in contention.

With Tilt and Daniels unavailable at Rochdale, McPhillips opted to revert to a back four with Paudie O’Connor coming into the side to make his first league start since August alongside Ben Heneghan.

The Pool boss insists it was always his plan to go to a back four, even if Tilt and Daniels had been available.

“We can change, can’t we? We can do both,” he said.

“We decided to go to a four anyway having watched them, so it was always going to be a four.

“It was a bit like attack versus defence in the second half at Rochdale.

“We obviously tried to play for the draw and they tried to nick one somewhere, and they did with that late one – whether it was offside or not, I don’t know.”