Blackpool boss was left bemused by some transfer speculation

Neil Critchley has revealed he was left “absolutely baffled” by some of the players Blackpool were linked with during the January transfer window.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 8:00 am

The Seasiders appeared keen to bolster their ranks in the centre of midfield during the final days leading up until the deadline.

Shrewsbury Town’s Josh Vela, Oxford United’s Cameron Brannagan and MK Dons man Matt O’Riley were all linked with a move to Bloomfield Road.

Critchley, whose side does look a little short on quality in the middle of the park as a result of injuries to Matty Virtue and Grant Ward, refused to be drawn on the speculation.

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When asked if he was frustrated by Blackpool’s failure to add a central midfielder on deadline day, Pool’s head coach told The Gazette: “We can only bring players to the football club that are going to improve us.

“If you look at the players we’ve brought in during this window, I’m confident they’ll be good additions to the squad.

“Some of the players you get linked with, I understand why. Some are baffling, absolutely baffling and I don’t know where they come from.

“Agents have quite a lot to do with things being put to the media. What is sometimes just a conversation ends up with us making a bid for someone, which is unbelievable.

“You’re left thinking ‘that’s not true at all’, so things can get fabricated quite quickly. It’s a bizarre day.

“Ben Mansford (Blackpool chief executive) has a saying about ‘deal fever’ and he’s right, because you have to make sure you don’t get caught up or embroiled in something you then regret and I don’t think we did that.

“We remained true to the principles we’ve got at this football club and it’s quite clear where we want to go in the future.”

Despite the failure to bring in a central midfielder, it was still a busy deadline day for the Seasiders who added Dujon Sterling, Jordan Gabriel and Owen Dale to their ranks.

“It was a long day. We didn’t leave the ground until the early hours of the morning with the Owen Dale deal going right to the line,” Critchley added.

“When the window shut at 11pm and on the next day when you get the chance to reflect, I was happy with what we did.

“Now it’s up to me and the staff to do our job, get to work on the team and improve the players we’ve got.”

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