Blackpool boss Neil Critchley hopeful of more signings in bid to follow Burnley model

Getting transfer deals over the line can be tough but Neil Critchley is confident Blackpool are making progress.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 8:00 am
Neil Critchley seized his chance to pick Sean Dyche's brains at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday

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Player ratings from Blackpool's slender pre-season friendly defeat to Burnley

The Seasiders have made eight additions to their squad ahead of their Championship return but still look light at right-back and up front.

Asked if any further deals are close, head coach Critchley told The Gazette: “We’re hopeful, yes. If you look across the squad, there are still one or two areas we could strengthen. We want a competitive squad.

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“I spoke to (Burnley boss) Sean Dyche on Tuesday about his squad and he said he likes to have two in every position. That’s something we like to work towards as well. If you look at our squad, we’re not quite at that in every position.

“We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes. There are obviously a few weeks of the window left and a lot of players still out of contract are beginning to get a bit anxious, thinking they haven’t got a club and need one. Like last season, if you’re in the right position at the right time you can get the right players.”

With the window not closing until August 31, Blackpool won’t be rushed – but if a deal is there to be done, the Seasiders won’t hesitate.

Critchley added: “If you identify the right targets and get the right work done, which I think we’ve been successful with over the last 12 to 15 months, we’ve seen we’re not afraid to get those deals done.

“A lot of work goes on in the background and identifying players is sometimes the easy part.

“Negotiating can prove difficult, especially when you’re up against other clubs.

“If we think the player is going to improve the squad and they’re available, then we’ll be ready.

“Players have got to want to play for us. They’ve got to believe this is the right move for them.

“We have a set of players who want to be here and that’s a big thing. They want to play in this stadium in the Championship in front of these magnificent supporters.”

Speculation continues to surround last season’s loanees Jordan Gabriel and Elliot Embleton, who the club are keen to bring back permanently.

The Seasiders are battling with Sunderland for Nottingham Forest defender Gabriel, while the Black Cats are keen to hold on to their academy product Embleton.

“I wouldn’t comment on speculation,” Critchley said. “Jordan is a Nottingham Forest player, Elliot is a Sunderland player. They’re playing for their teams in pre-season.

“They did fantastically well for us but that was last season. It’s not right of me to speak about other people’s players.”

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