A 'million and one' things for Blackpool to improve upon ahead of next season

Neil Critchley believes there are “a million and one” things for his Blackpool side to improve upon ready for next season.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 8:00 am

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The Seasiders have enjoyed an excellent first season back in the Championship, sitting comfortably in mid-table with no fears about relegation.

Despite that, Blackpool’s head coach remains fiercely ambitious and believes his side should be even further up the table.

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When asked how his side can help close that gap next term, Critchley said: “How long have you got?

“We’ve got a million and one things to improve. I could be here forever telling you how I think that can happen.

“In possession, out of possession, our squad and plenty of other things. They’re things we speak about all the time.

“That’s what we do, we review, we try and evaluate where we are, we try and be honest with who we are, where we’re trying to get to and how we’re going to get there, on and off the pitch. That’s the continuous process we follow every single day.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley is always striving to make improvements

“You can’t underestimate a bit of lady luck as well, because that can help with injuries and decisions over the course of a season.

“You only have to look at Saturday’s game at Luton. Not to go on about referees and things like that, but if some decisions go our way over the course of the season, some penalty decisions, Cardiff away etc, if you pick up two extra points…well they add up over a course of a season.

“Sometimes lady luck can help, but it won’t be for the want of effort, time and patience. We won’t be found wanting in those areas.”

In many respects, Blackpool’s achievement of securing their safety as early as March is almost as impressive as their promotion from League One last season, if not more so.

But Critchley is reluctant to use that term unless there’s something tangible to come with it at the end of a campaign.

“I think the word achievement seems like the wrong word to use sometimes,” he said.

“When you get to Wembley and you win in a play-off final and you lift a trophy, that feels like an achievement.

“When you’re just 16th in the division with so many points, it doesn’t feel like you’ve achieved the same because there’s no final, there’s no promotion.

“But I don’t think we can underestimate what we’ve done this season. It’s a tremendously difficult division, it’s so competitive and we’ve been comfortable in it.

“There will probably be that feeling of ‘what if?’ at the end of the season, I’ll be left with that. In one way, it’s not very nice but it also gives you motivation for next season.

“But we’ve still got points to play for. It’s so tight in the division, we could still finish fairly high up.

“But wherever we finish, our aim will be no different. It’s to try and improve and I see lots of things we can improve upon on the pitch.”