Blackpool boss Neil Critchley opens up on the origins of his decision not to look at the League One table

Neil Critchley admits he stopped looking at the League One table during Blackpool’s horror start to the season and hasn’t looked back since.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:43 am

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The Seasiders found themselves in the relegation zone at one point having lost six of their opening nine games of the 2020/21 campaign.

Since then, Blackpool’s turnaround has been remarkable, losing just four of their following 28 games, leaving them in fifth, four points clear of seventh-placed Charlton Athletic with a game in hand still to play.

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But Critchley, whose side take on promotion rivals Lincoln City on Saturday, has still yet to look at the league table.

Explaining why, Pool’s head coach said: “I keep being told over the next two or three games, from being play-off contenders you can nearly cement your place within the play-off positions.

“That’s our aim, we want to try and do that as quickly as possible but we know how difficult it is.

“I’m going to roll out the old football cliché, it’s one game at a time but it’s true. We never speak about how many games we’ve got left, we never speak about the games we’ve got coming up, we purely concentrate on who we’ve got the next game and how we’re going to win it.

Neil Critchley's side currently sit fifth in the league table...but he wouldn't know it

“We trust in our preparation and we trust in the process and I think that’s really important.

“I didn’t look at the table at the start of the season because it hurt me, I didn’t want to look at it. It wasn’t nice viewing.

“From then, when we were doing well, it just became a bit of a superstition. It’s silly really, but I haven’t looked at it and I think if I start looking at it now then it might mean we don’t do as well.

“It’s become one of those things where I can’t actually do it now, so any time it flicks up on Sky Sports or...I was watching Oxford v Lincoln the other week and at the end of the game it came up, but I turned it over - I turn my head away or walk out of the room.

“I try not to look at it but I obviously have a rough idea of where we are and where everyone is, but I’m just not entirely sure of points and games specific to each team.

“I know if we keep winning games then the league will take care of itself.”

The decision not to view the table is a bizarre one given Critchley wouldn’t normally class himself as a superstitious person.

“I used the word ‘superstition’, it’s probably not really. I don’t know what it is,” he added.

“I’m quite stubborn maybe sometimes and I just think ‘nah’, because I’ve been doing it (for such a long time) and I stay head strong.

“It’s ridiculous, but that’s it. I haven’t and I will continue for now anyway.”

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