Blackpool head coach enjoys facing his more experienced counterparts

Neil Critchley can’t wait to pit his wits against another vastly experienced manager when his Blackpool side take on Cardiff City today.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 8:00 am

Pool’s head coach has already faced Nigel Pearson and Neil Warnock in the first week of the season.

This afternoon, the Seasiders welcome Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff side to Bloomfield Road.

Pearson, Warnock and McCarthy have more than 3,000 games in management between them, compared to Critchley’s 62.

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“It’s been great for me personally to come up against these guys,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“I spoke to Nigel briefly before the game and after the game against Bristol City last weekend, and he was great company.

“Neil was the same on Wednesday night when I managed to speak to him before the game.

“He belies his years, he’s full of enthusiasm and energy, and I wonder how he’s still going and doing what he’s doing.

“It’s incredible what they’ve done and Mick McCarthy is the same.

“Neil and Mick have managed over 1,000 games each, which is incredible. Mick has done it at international level as well.

“It does humble me standing next to them. I do stand next to them and think ‘I’d love to have their career in the game and do what they’ve done’.

“I’d love to be able to speak to them and pick their brains because it’s a great education for me to come up against these managers.”

The Seasiders are expecting a bumper crowd at Bloomfield Road today as they search for their first league win of the Championship campaign.

For Critchley, it’s likely to be the biggest home crowd he’s coached in front of, following his arrival in March 2020.

“I can’t wait,” he added. “It’s something to savour and something to look forward to.

“I just hope the players thrive off it and feed off the emotion and the passion coming from the supporters.

“A lot of managers will say their supporters are the best and they get behind the team no matter what, but that’s a fact here at Blackpool.

“I’m not just saying it just to fluff the supporters, they know when someone is being genuine and they’re not being genuine.”

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