Blackpool boss Neil Critchley backs opponents Birmingham City to beat injury crisis

Neil Critchley believes Birmingham City are more than capable of coping with their current injury crisis.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:30 pm

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Lee Bowyer could be without as many as eight players for Saturday’s encounter at St Andrew’s, six through injury and two suspended as a result of recent red cards.

Ryan Woods was dismissed in midweek during the Blues’ goalless draw against high-flying neighbours Coventry City, which came on the back of two straight defeats.

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Lee Bowyer could be without eight players when his Birmingham side face Blackpool on Saturday

With Gary Gardner also suspended and Marcel Oakley, Maxime Colin, George Friend, Jordan Graham, Tahith Chong and Kristian Pedersen all likely to miss out through injury, Bowyer will be short on options this weekend.

Critchley thinks they will be able to cope, telling The Gazette: “They’ve got a good squad of players.

“You look at their team, their experience and the profile of players they’ve got, they’re a good team irrespective of who they’ve got on the pitch.

“Injuries are part and parcel of football, we’ve got a few ourselves, but at the start of the season and as you go on you prepare for the future and you think about the make-up of the squad and are you preparing for the what-ifs?

“We’ve got more than a couple of injuries ourselves at the minute and it’s not affected us, so it’s about how you deal with those moments inwardly as a group that can make the difference.”

Chris Maxwell (quad), Luke Garbutt (knee), Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL) and Grant Ward (Achilles) are all sidelined for the Seasiders.

Richard Keogh, meanwhile, has only just returned to training after a spell out with a calf injury.

Whoever takes to the pitch for the Seasiders will need to be primed for another tough battle, similar to the game against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night.

“They’re a physical team who get the ball forward quickly and get the ball into the box a lot,” Critchley said.

“It’s a team full of men, full of experience, but they’ve got some quality in the right areas of the pitch.

“At home, I’m sure they’ll be looking to bounce back from the run of results they’ve had.”

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