Neil Critchley delivers his verdict on Blackpool's friendly win against Carlisle and provides details on trialist right-back
Neil Critchley was pleased with what he saw from his Blackpool players during today’s pre-season friendly win against Carlisle United.
Demetri Mitchell’s first-half goal, his third effort in as many games this summer, was the difference against their League Two opponents at Brunton Park.
The game ended a disruptive week for the Seasiders, who were forced to cancel Wednesday night’s friendly against Rangers due to a Covid outbreak.
Counting injuries, positive tests and players isolating, Critchley was without as many as 16 first-team players for this afternoon’s trip to Cumbria.
But Pool were still able to name a strong starting line-up and ultimately dominated the opening 65 minutes of the game, before bringing on a host of youngsters off the bench.
Despite coming under some late pressure, the visitors held on for a second win of pre-season.
“I was really pleased,” Critchley told The Gazette.
“For the first 65 minutes, we had the more experienced team on the pitch and we controlled a lot of the game and we built well from the back.
“We’ve been practising various things in training and we want to use these games as an extension of our training.
“It was important we put into practice the things we do in training in a game situation and we did that. We had some real good play from the back and got into the final third often.
“We were a bit wasteful with certain situations we were in, but I was really encouraged with what I saw.
“We scored a really good goal on the counter-attack, had some good chances to go 2-0 up in the second half.
“But once we made the team younger we had to do a bit of defending near the end, which was a good test for some of them.
“It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet and win the game, although results are not vitally important at the moment.
“Getting the team together and playing together more is more important. Hopefully we’ve got no more injuries, because that would be a welcome boost.”
Critchley also handed 45 minutes to a trialist right-back, who The Gazette understands is Leicester City defender Mitch Clark
The 22-year-old, who has also represented Wales at youth level, replaced Callum Connolly on the right-hand side of defence for the second-half.
“Mitch is someone who’s been with us all week,” Critchley revealed.
“I’ve been aware of him for his time coming through at Aston Villa and at Leicester and he’s had a couple of loan experiences as well.
“He’s trained with us all week and he’ll play again hopefully on Tuesday. Then we’ll be in a better position to make a decision with him.
“He got 45 minutes on Saturday, we’ll see what he does again on Tuesday but I was pleased with how he did.”
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