Blackpool FC: Neil Critchley provides team selection hint for the Seasiders’ EFL Trophy tie against Liverpool

Blackpool welcome Liverpool U21s to Bloomfield Road in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night (K.O. 7pm).
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Both teams won their opening group games, with the Seasiders producing a 2-0 victory away to Barrow, while the Premier League youngsters overcame Morecambe.

Like the game at Holker Street last month, Neil Critchley admits he will make a number of changes to his side.

“It's a competition we have started well in,” he said.

Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell/CameraSport)Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell/CameraSport)
Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell/CameraSport)
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“We beat Barrow in the first game and Liverpool beat Morecambe, so it’s two teams coming together with 100 percent records.

“I’ll know quite a few of their players, so it’ll be interesting to see how some of them do because they’ll be trying to forge their way at Liverpool or elsewhere.

“They’ll be technically very good, and will play in a similar way to their first team.

“It’s a competition I enjoy, but there’ll be changes because we’ve just had three tough games, so we will freshen the team up.

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“It will give opportunities to some of the players who haven’t been in the team.

“This serves a real purpose in your calendar as it will give some of our squad much-needed minutes.

“Winning games breeds confidence and a happy environment. You want all of your players to feel like they’re contributing.”

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Critchley has recently attended Central League and Lancashire Senior Cup games featuring Blackpool’s youngsters, and admits he’s keeping a close eye on those in the development squad.

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“We’ve only got a few injuries so we’ve got a competitive squad,” he said.

“I was at the development game against Blackburn, and I was trying to watch the younger players.

“I’ve been in that position myself as a coach, where you want your young players to get an opportunity if they deserve it.

“We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.”

Sonny Carey and Kylian Kouassi were both on the scoresheet in the Seasiders’ opening game in Cumbria, while Mateusz Musiałowski, Calum Scanlon and Bobby Clark all netted in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Morecambe.

Following Tuesday’s game, Blackpool finish the EFL Trophy group stages with a home game against the Shrimps on November 14.