Blackpool boss Neil Critchley warns: Window shopping will be tougher than ever

Doing business in the notoriously difficult January transfer window will be even trickier this season because of the Covid-19 situation.

By Matt Scrafton
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 12:30 pm

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That’s according to Blackpool’s head coach Neil Critchley, who expects to see clubs – especially those in the Premier League – keep hold of players they might previously have been willing to let go.

That’s because of the ongoing disruption caused by the Omicron variant, which has caused postponements across the board.

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Neil Critchley believes clubs will be reluctant to part with players during next month's transfer window

With squads up and down the country decimated by positive Covid cases and injuries, players previously considered to be on the fringes may now be required more than ever.

And Critchley admits that will make business next month especially difficult.

He told The Gazette: “What you hear is that the bigger clubs in the Premier League will be keeping a lot of their players in house, which is understandable.

“It’s a shame because it might stop good younger players going out to get game time and invaluable experience.

“But I fully understand they have to protect the interests of their club at this time.

“The situation is moving very quickly and in a few weeks we might come out of the worst of this. There could be a little bit of the window to go and people might start to think differently. Hopefully that’s the case.

“But at the moment, you’d have to say that might stunt the market a little bit in January.”

The window, which opens on Saturday, gives Blackpool a chance to strengthen their squad for the second half of the Championship season.

Critchley’s men head into 2022 on the back of a memorable 12 months, which saw the club return to the second tier of English football via yet another play-off triumph.

Pool’s head coach admits he’s not had much time to sit back and reflect but he’s happy with the club’s progress on and off the field this year.

Critchley said: “I’m thinking of all kinds of things that are going to happen between now and our next game, and you’re just fully focused on the job.

“But if you look across the last 12 months, then yes, we’ve made big strides and come a long way in a short period of time.

“If you look at the squad we inherited and the players we’ve got now, at fans not being in the ground and now being in the ground, at the atmosphere we have at Bloomfield Road, then we’ve got a lot to be proud of as a club.

“But we’re on a journey and we’re not at the end of it, so we want to get better. We’ve still got exciting times ahead of us.”

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