Blackpool boss insists it will take time to implement his style - but admits early signs are looking good

Neil Critchley admits it will take time for Blackpool to play the style of football he wants, but he says the early signs are looking good.

By Matt Scrafton
Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 6:00 am

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The former Liverpool Under-23 coach takes charge of his first home game tonight when Blackpool welcome League One strugglers Tranmere Rovers to Bloomfield Road.

Pool will be looking to build on Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood Town, where the Seasiders played some impressive football despite having just three days in training with their new head coach.

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Critchley was happy with how side performed at Fleetwood on Saturday

The Seasiders have little time to prepare for tonight’s game against Tranmere but Critchley is confident his players will build on their weekend display.

“Preparation is important, but you don’t get a lot of time to prepare in-between games,” he said.

“When we get opportunities where you get spells between games to get on the grass then that’s going to be really important.

“We will develop our way of playing and we’ll develop our style and what we want to do in and out of possession between now and the end of the season. That will be really important.

“That might take a little bit of time, but I think there was some evidence of that already in the first half against Fleetwood.

“That’s something we want to try and build on and continue.

“Having watched the game back, I thought we were excellent in the first half. To go to a team who are unbeaten in 11 and be the dominant team was impressive, I don’t think they had one shot on our goal in the first half. That was really encouraging.

“We didn’t manage to maintain that in the second half, but I think conditions played a part and they had a slight change in their shape as well.

“I would have liked us to have kept the ball better in the second half but again, that will take time, it will take time on the training pitch and some belief, which I aim to give them.

“Within a few days, I can see the players are listening and that’s all you want sometimes as a coach. You want to see they are responding to the work you’re doing because that makes your work even more fulfilling and valuable.

“I couldn’t have been more impressed with the players on Saturday.”

Speaking yesterday on what marked the completion of his first week as Blackpool’s new head coach, Critchley added: “I’ve settled in really well.

“I actually thanked the players for that the other day, because they’ve made me feel really comfortable and welcome. They’ve been really receptive to the work we’ve done.

“They’ve been a pleasure to work with and it’s been great to get to know a few of them and speak to them on a personal level.

“The support that I’ve had from the staff and everyone around the ground has been so positive and has given me a really good feeling inside.

“It makes you just want to do well for people when you have that type of connection and I obviously want that to continue.”