Blackpool head coach still has work to do in the transfer window

Blackpool have already been busy in the transfer market so far this summer, but head coach Neil Critchley concedes there’s still work to do.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 8:00 am

The Seasiders have made eight new additions since clinching promotion to the Championship last season.

The most recent of those was the arrival of Richard Keogh, which the club announced on Saturday morning.

However, Pool are still light in some areas of the pitch, especially at right-back following the departures of Ollie Turton and Jordan Gabriel.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley

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Summer recruit Callum Connolly has been flagged as a potential replacement and played in that position – during the second half of the pre-season friendly at Southport earlier this month.

Critchley also took the chance to hand a cameo to 17-year-old academy defender Jack Moore.

In terms of the club’s recruitment plans, Critchley told The Gazette: “I’m happy with the work we’ve done, but we’ve still got little bits and pieces to do within the squad.

“We have the chance to improve the squad and that’s what we’re looking to do.

“The work we’ve done and continue to do, headed up by our head of football operations, John Stephenson, and the team we’ve got, means we’ll continue to look.

“If we feel we can improve the squad, then we shall do so.

“There’s a 25-man squad we’re allowed and there’s certain regulations you have to abide by where your own Under-21 players don’t count, but loan players from outside do count.

“It’s a bit of a jigsaw sometimes, fitting players into that piece. Sometimes players become available that you don’t expect to – like probably some of the players we brought in last season.

“We’ve done some business early because we had identified those players, and when we’re sure on players, we’ll move for them and get it done, so we’re really delighted with that.

“We’ve still got a little bit to do, so we continue to do the work and if the right player becomes available, we’ll try and do it.

“We can be patient as well because the market has a habit of coming back towards you the longer the window carries on.”

One player that is unlikely to feature for the Seasiders this coming season is Bez Lubala, who hasn’t made an appearance for Pool since the start of February.

At the time, Critchley told The Gazette Lubala was unavailable for selection because of a ‘club matter’, but was unable to expand on it further.

The Gazette again quizzed Pool’s head coach if fans can expect Lubala to leave Bloomfield Road this summer, but Critchley was again unable to provide much of an update.

“I’ll have to repeat what I said to you before,” Critchley said.

“This is a club issue and I can’t say anything further on that unfortunately.”

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