Former Rangers striker Ryan Hardie has endured a tough time since leaving Ibrox to join Blackpool in July.
Down the pecking order at the Gers, he left in search of first-team football and the English club’s fans were delighted to secure his services. Yet, opportunities have been few and far between.
📝 Blackpool sign striker Ryan Hardie from @RangersFC for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.
— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) July 17, 2019
He’s made just eleven appearances for the Seasiders to date, with six of those outings from the start. He’s only actually been named in the XI for two League One games, though, with three starts and his only goal coming in the EFL Trophy, and the other start coming in the League Cup.
The last time Hardie made it onto the pitch in the league was in a defeat to Rotherham over a month ago.
Part of his problem has been the strong form of fellow forward, Armand Gnanduillet, who has ten goals for the season.
However, the ex-Ger’s fortunes may be on the turn after he delivered a stunning performance for the Reserves on Tuesday evening.
Huddersfield Town’s Reserves emerged 4-3 winners, but Hardie scored all three of his team’s goals.
His first came within the opening ten minutes, before he scored a ‘bullet header’ midway through the second half. Then, in the closing stages, he completed his stunning hat-trick with a ‘well-timed finish in the box’ [Blackpoolfc.co.uk].
The 22-year-old will hope this standout performance will be enough to convince manager, Simon Grayson, to find room to squeeze him into the starting line-up for the trip to high-flying Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon.