Blackpool head coach was happy to see the return of their mean streak against Fulham

Neil Critchley hopes Blackpool’s magnificent win against Fulham is just the beginning of his side rediscovering the ingredients that made them such a success in League One last season.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 8:00 am

Josh Bowler’s superb solo goal at the start of the second half proved to be the difference on Saturday.

Critchley’s side earned a 1-0 win against the team who started the day top of the Championship table.

While it was Bowler’s goal that caught the eye, Blackpool’s head coach was delighted to see a first clean sheet of the campaign.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley saw his get the better of Fulham

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That’s something which was a hallmark of their promotion from the third tier last time out.

Critchley said: “Fulham have scored a lot of goals, haven’t they (13 in six games)? So to keep a clean sheet is fantastic.

“They’ve had some shots and you’d expect them to, but they’ve not had many clear-cut chances to score and we defended the goal really well. Chris Maxwell’s not had too many saves to make either.

“I think it was important to get back to what made us successful last season, which was the best defensive record in the league.

“We kept the most clean sheets, conceded the least amount of goals. We need to get back to that and, if we can, then we’ve got players at the top end that can hurt teams and can score.”

Saturday’s win against Marco Silva’s promotion favourites was Blackpool’s first three points of the campaign.

It means the Seasiders, who beat the Cottagers for the first time in 23 years, have now moved out of the bottom three in the Championship.

“The longer you go without winning then the pressure builds, so it’s nice to get that first win,” Critchley admitted.

“If you asked me before the game if I expected it to come in this game, maybe not – but this group of players surprise me sometimes.

“I know what this group is capable of and I don’t think we’ve quite got what we’ve deserved in some of the other games.

“In this game, we said beforehand that they hadn’t lost yet, so they were going to lose at some point.

“We hadn’t won and we knew we were going to win at some point, so why not now?”

While Blackpool were defensively superb to keep out Aleksander Mitrovic and co, they were also a huge threat going forward – right from the off.

“They’ve scored a lot of goals, so to keep a clean sheet against them was an outstanding effort,” Pool’s head coach added.

“Our performance had everything. It had good football, a fantastic goal and when we needed to defend, when we came under a bit of pressure towards the end, we did that unbelievably well.

“If you can’t take confidence from beating a team like Fulham, then you’re doing something wrong.”

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