Blackpool boss Neil Critchley homes in on precious points against Barnsley

Neil Critchley is anxious to see Blackpool’s home results improve, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Barnsley to Bloomfield Road.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 8:00 am

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The Seasiders have lost three of their four home games in the Championship, most recently a 3-0 setback against Huddersfield Town 10 days ago.

That scoreline hardly reflected the game and head coach Critchley believes his players deserve more than three points from their home assignments.

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Neil Critchley wants Blackpool to improve their record in front of their own fans

He said: “We want to improve our home form, that’s for certain. We want Blackpool to be a tough place to come to but, other than the Fulham game, we haven’t had results here.

“That has to change but Barnsley will be very awkward and difficult to play against. They are hard to break down and don’t concede many.

“They haven’t won many games yet (one out of eight, with five draws) but they will come here, look at our home record and think it’s their chance to get a win in the Championship as well.”

It is often said that home form is the key to consolidation whenever a team steps up, with any points accrued away a bonus.

Making special plans for home matches is not part of the Critchley philosophy.

He added: “We want to win home games but I don’t look at home and away games differently because we don’t try to play any differently.

“I make plans game by game, we try to be as consistent as possible and the players follow that as best they can. They haven’t always got the results they deserve but I can’t praise them enough.

“We don’t have a plan for home games and a plan for aways. Our planning is determined by who we are playing”

Tomorrow’s opponents managed to bridge the gap between the Championship and League One, in which they played as recently as 2018/19, and were surprise play-off contenders in May.

Critchley added: “A few clubs have transitioned to the Championship successfully but the statistics also show that a lot go straight back down, like Rotherham and Wycombe last season.

“Coventry stayed up. They are an example to follow and have made an excellent start this season.

“We are under no illusions about the task at hand because over the past 10 years a lot of clubs have come up and gone straight back down.

“We know we have a big challenge on our hands but it’s one we are up for and relish. There are encouraging signs so far but it’s very early days and there is a very long way to go.”

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