Blackpool FC: Neil Critchley delivers Rob Apter Tranmere Rovers loan verdict as January transfer decision to be made
The young midfielder is out on loan in League Two with Tranmere until at least January, and there will be a decision to be made come the New Year. He found first-team minutes hard to come by during the first part of his loan, but has grown in confidence over the last few weeks with a string of good performances.
Apter hadn't started a league game for Tranmere until the end of October, but has now started Tranmere's last three matches in all competitions. He has witnessed a manager sacking, with Ian Dawes the man who brought him to the club dismissed, and replaced by interim boss Nigel Adkins, who has since given him a new lease of life at Prenton Park.
"When Rob first went to Tranmere, it was a difficult period for him," said Critchley last Thursday when asked to review Apter's time spent away from the club so far.
"The manager who took him got sacked very quickly after that unfortunately. Rob has had to be patient. He was in the squads, on the bench and getting few minutes. He's shown perseverance and that's what Rob has got."
He has had several loan spells away from Bloomfield Road, including spells at Bamber Bridge, Chester and Scunthorpe United. Tranmere is his first Football League loan however, and so far he's made 12 appearances in all competitions. In total he's made five starts, and come off of the bench seven times.
Apter in the last fortnight has scored in the FA Cup, meaning he is now cup-tied should the Tangerines make the third round, and was also named man-of-the-match following his role in the 3-0 win against Forest Green Rovers at the weekend.
Critchley added: "He's got personality and he's got confidence in himself. He's found himself in the team and getting more minutes in the last few games which has been great to see. I know he scored a goal and that, so it's been really positive for him and hopefully that will continue."