Neil Critchley challenges his Blackpool side to make better use of their upcoming back-to-back home games

Neil Critchley has challenged his Blackpool side to take full advantage of their upcoming back-to-back home games.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 9:54 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 10:42 am

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The Seasiders only picked up two points from their recent Bloomfield Road outings against Crewe Alexandra and AFC Wimbledon.

But on the back of Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at MK Dons, Critchley’s side have another opportunity to lay down a marker on home turf, where they remain unbeaten since October.

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Blackpool host Fylde coast rivals Fleetwood Town on Saturday before taking on Burton Albion on Tuesday night in their rearranged fixture.

“How the points come, it doesn’t really matter too much as long as you’re accumulating the points,” Critchley said.

“But we’ve got two home games to come now and it would be advantageous to us if we could pick up more points than we did against Crewe and Wimbledon.

“We’ve now won three consecutive away games and kept three clean sheets, which is a great record to have. We’ve had a few like that this season, haven’t we?

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

“We beat Peterborough at their place which at the time was their only defeat at home, then we beat Portsmouth when at the time it was only their first away defeat, so that’s nice.

“If you had said we’d beat Portsmouth, Charlton and MK Dons and pick up nine points, we’d certainly have taken it.”

The Seasiders were relieved to see the game out at Stadium:MK on Tuesday night having conceded late on in their previous two outings.

The victory extended Blackpool’s unbeaten run to six games, cutting the gap to the play-offs in the process to four points with three games in hand still to play.

“It was vital to see the game out,” Critchley said.

“When they got the corner two minutes into injury time I was crossing my fingers on the sideline thinking ‘here we go again’.

“But we defended that really well and we kept them out. Yes, they hit the crossbar in the second-half but that’s the bit of luck you need sometimes.

“We didn’t get that luck on Saturday against Wimbledon when their guy miskicks the ball and it falls straight to the striker’s feet. That shot could go anywhere.

“You need that little bit of luck sometimes and maybe we had that against MK Dons, but I thought it was deserved.

“There’s still plenty of things we can improve on, there are still aspects of our game I want us to get better at, but with this group of players and how they work, you’ve got a real chance.”

Critchley was visibly animated on the touchline in the dying stages on Tuesday night, desperate to see his players avoid a third consecutive late setback.

“Because of what happened on the weekend, I just wanted us to hold on,” he said.

“When the players put so much effort in, you want them to get what they deserve. I couldn’t have asked for any more so I wanted them to have that feeling in the dressing room after the game.

“I didn’t want them to feel like they felt on Saturday, none of us do. But it’s about the players on the pitch and they deserved that nice feeling after the game, so I was made up for them.”

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