Blackpool boss expects fans to provide even louder backing against Preston North End

Neil Critchley is expecting the Bloomfield Road atmosphere to ramp up another notch for today’s derby against Preston North End.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 8:00 am

Pool’s head coach has been blown away with the noise generated by Blackpool fans this season.

However, Critchley expects a cauldron of noise he’s never witnessed before this afternoon, when the Seasiders meet Preston for the first time in eight years.

“The derby was mentioned regularly to me last season even when we weren’t in the same division and we couldn’t play them,” Critchley said.

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“I’m well aware of the importance of a game between ourselves and Preston.

“It was the team that was talked about the most when the fixtures came out, everyone talked about those games home and away.

“It’s been hotly anticipated and it’s the first league game in quite a while, so I’m well aware of what it means to the people at the club and the supporters.

“I’m sure the atmosphere will step up another notch on Saturday.

“Our last home game against Blackburn was on another level, it was incredible.

“During the last 10 to 15 minutes, the supporters won us that game. They got us over the line.

“I know this will go up another level again. I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait for the game.

“These are the games why you’re involved in football.”

If his Pool players are able to pick up three points today, Critchley is well aware he will make a bit of history by becoming the first Seasiders boss to beat Preston since 2009.

At Bloomfield Road, meanwhile, Blackpool haven’t beaten the Lilywhites since 1997.

“The fact we’ve not played each other in the league for so long means there will be a build-up of emotion, anticipation and excitement,” Critchley added.

“It’s my first chance to sample this type of game and it will be for the players as well.

“Some of the games people have spoken about and some of the moments and goals, those games are all years ago.

“Now it’s a chance for a player or players to go down in the history of this club.”

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