Blackpool boss praises the club's defensive efforts following Charlton Athletic victory

Blackpool’s defensive prowess has been key to their recent winning run of results according to head coach Neil Critchley.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 8:00 am

Saturday’s magnificent 3-0 victory against Charlton Athletic means the Seasiders have now won five of their last six games.

All of those victories have also been accompanied by clean sheets.

Blackpool’s goal never came under threat at The Valley either, with the Addicks failing to muster a single shot on target during the 90 minutes.

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Neil Critchley saw his Blackpool side win at Charlton Athletic on Saturday
Neil Critchley saw his Blackpool side win at Charlton Athletic on Saturday

“I don’t remember Maxi (keeper Chris Maxwell) having anything to do in the game,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“I don’t remember a real chance where I thought they were going to score.

“They had a little bit early on with a few set-pieces and crosses maybe, but it was very, very little.

“Considering Jordan (Thorniley) stepped in at the last minute following James Husband’s injury in the warm-up, he slotted seamlessly in and it didn’t make any difference.

“That shows the strength of the squad and the work we do together as a group.

“I don’t think they had a shot on target, which is impressive given they’ve got players like Jayden Stockley, who is in good form and is a real handful and a real threat.

“We kept him away from the goal. He’s a big threat from crosses and set-pieces, but we made sure we stayed out of the box and didn’t defend deep.

“Then you’ve got Connor Washington, who is an international player, Chuks Aneke, who is a handful at this level coming on as a sub, Ronnie Schwartz came on near the end. They’ve got a real abundance of strikers.

“We’ve given them nothing though in the whole game.

“It’s the whole team together though, not just the goalkeeper and the back players, it’s everyone.

“The effort of the players and how much tireless running they do, they’re getting their rewards now and I’m delighted about that.”

Blackpool’s pre-match plans had been thrown in the air just minutes before kick-off when Husband, who was due to start, pulled out of the warm-up.

He was replaced at centre-back by Thorniley, while Nathan Shaw took the final spot on the substitutes’ bench.

“He just felt his calf in the warm-up, so we didn’t want to take a risk. It was quite an easy decision really,” Critchley said, explaining Husband’s late withdrawal.

“Jordan Thorniley had been excellent in the games he played and it’s another left-footed, pretty much like-for-like, change.

“I have to say, for Jordan to come in as late as he did, his performance was nearly faultless and perfect, he was excellent.

“We’ll know more about Hubby on Sunday. It’s a bit sore at the moment, but hopefully a bit of ice and rest will help it settle down before Tuesday night.

“But I’ll know a lot more in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

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