How Bolton Wanderers and Peterborough United are inspiring Blackpool's play-off bid

Blackpool's season now hinges on whether they will achieve a League One play-off spot or not.
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Neil Critchley admits that Blackpool must go on a winning run to achieve their goal of a League One play-off spot this season.

The Seasiders have only the league to think about after their Wembley dreams were dashed on Tuesday, losing 3-0 to Peterborough in front of a crowd of just over 6,000. Blackpool defeated Peterborough last week to narrow the gap on their play-off rivals but Oxford United's 2-2 draw with Northampton Town on the same night increased the gap a slight bit.

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Blackpool must now hope from a slip-up from the sides above them with Stevenage, Peterborough and Barnsley all possessing a game in hand over them. Oxford have played a game more and Blackpool have a midweek fixture against Leyton Orient to think about on Tuesday as well.

"We need to go and win quite a few games of football and go on a run," said Critchley.

"When you get momentum and you start winning games, you can claw back points and places very quickly.

“We’re still in touching distance of the play-offs, and that is our aim now over the course of the final matches of the season. It’s our responsibility to give the supporters something to get behind on Saturday and collectively we can create a strong atmosphere.”

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Strangely enough, it is Bolton Wanderers and Peterborough United are inspiring Blackpool in their quest for promotion, admits the manager. Peterborough, who Blackpool have gotten aquatinted with over the last week with their two consecutive meetings are actually providing them with motivation to achieve their goal.

Posh beat Barnsley on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign to secure the sixth and final spot at the expense of Derby County. Peterborough are the 33 game mark last season were five points off of the play-offs similar to how Blackpool are six points off of them now and seven adrift of Oxford United.

In the division below, Saturday's opponents Bolton went on a 14-game unbeaten run from the end of January to the beginning of April which saw them go from 17th to fourth in the 2020/21 campaign. Despite suffering three more defeats that season, they would go on to win automatic promotion from League Two, despite at one point being just seven points off the relegation zone.

Critchley said: "I think Peterborough last year when you speak to Norbs (Ollie Norburn) they were eight or nine points outside the play-offs at around this stage of the season and got in on the last day I think it was when they beat Barnsley.

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"I think Bolton a few years ago when they were in League Two went on a fantastic run from January time and I think they went up in the automatics in the end.

"You know it can happen, you can build momentum but to do that you have got to win games of football. We know we have to do that at some point."

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