Viv Solomon-Otabor says Gary Bowyer’s laying down of the law worked to get the best out of him during his loan spell at Blackpool.
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The winger enjoyed a successful season-long stay at Bloomfield Road, making 47 appearances for the Seasiders and scoring five goals.
The 22-year-old has now returned to his parent club Birmingham City, where he is looking to force his way into the Championship side’s first team.
Whatever happens, Solomon-Otabor says Bowyer has made him a better player during his season on the Fylde coast – even if he wasn’t always delighted with the methods his manager opted to use.
“He definitely got the best out of me,” he said.
“He was always on me. Whether I was doing well or not he was always demanding more.
“If the team wasn’t playing well in the first half he would always shout at me to get the best out of me but also the best out of everybody else too.
“So I went out in the second half wanting to prove him wrong. That was good because it got the best out of me, so I just want to thank him for that.
“He’d always want more, more and more because he always knew I could show more than what I had already shown.
“That motivated me to go out and be even better than I was before.
“Even if I was having a good game he’d still want more, which is good. That’s all part of the learning.”
Solomon-Otabor is well-regarded at Birmingham but first-team appearances have been few and far between.
To date he has only made 25 appearances for the club, leaving him no option but to go out on loan to the likes of Oxford City, Bolton Wanderers as well as Blackpool to get first-team football.
But the exciting winger is only focused on impressing Birmingham manager Garry Monk and forcing his way into the manager’s plans.
He added: “I had a brief chat (with Garry Monk) and I had a few phone calls where he asked me about my loan and how it went.
“He just told me to come back in pre-season and just see how you do and that he’ll have a good look at me.
“That was positive because I just want to come back here and show people what I can do.
“The manager has played some young players who I know so it shows he trusts in youth. It shows that, as a young player, if I can come back and do well then there’s a chance I could be in the first team.”