Blackpool boss believes consistency has been key to their progress

‘If it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it’ will be the approach Blackpool take in the final seven games of the season.

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 8:00 am

The Seasiders, who sit fifth in League One, are unbeaten in 15 games.

Today, they take on third-placed Sunderland at Bloomfield Road in what will be a pivotal encounter at the top end of the table.

“The mood is all positive, it’s upbeat,” said head coach Neil Critchley.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley

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“The sun is out in Blackpool, so we’re enjoying the sunshine, we’re enjoying each other’s company and the group is a good group to be around at the moment.

“We’re a little bit frustrated, obviously, with the last two results but not with the performances.

“We’re 15 games unbeaten with seven games to go, so there’s lots to be positive about at Blackpool at the moment.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to go unbeaten for that long, particularly in this season with the problems we’ve faced with the schedule, injuries etc.

“The consistency we’ve shown has been fantastic. This division is so tough, you only have to look at some of the results recently of teams beating teams you might not expect, some by fairly large scorelines as well. We’ve had none of them.

“There’s a reason for that, so we have to remind ourselves of that but we don’t do it for too long and we stay calm, level-headed and prepare the same way.

“It’s important we remain consistent with how we approach every single game because it’s brought us the success so far, so there’s no reason to change that.”

The Seasiders will be without Elliot Embleton today for the first of two games against the Black Cats in just 10 days.

The midfielder, who is currently on loan from the Stadium of Light, is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Kevin Stewart, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine all remain injured with Bez Lubala unavailable.

“We’ve got no injury problems from Tuesday night, so the squad will be similar to the Accrington game,” Critchley added.

“We’re a little bit limited in terms of our attacking options, so we’re going to have to think about what will be the right team and the right formation to play Sunderland.

“We’ve played different teams and different formations this season and we’re going to have to think about what will be the right team to play, because they can play in a number of different ways.”

Sunderland come into today’s game sitting five points adrift of the automatic promotion spots, having lost back-to-back games against Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic.

Lee Johnson’s side have only been beaten on two occasions away from home this season though.

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