Blackpool head coach won't dwell on their injury list

Neil Critchley won’t be making a big deal of Blackpool’s injury list as they return to action this afternoon.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 8:00 am

Despite the 14-day international break, the Seasiders will still be without a host of first-team names for today’s trip to Swansea City.

Irrespective of which players are sidelined, Critchley refuses to use it as an excuse.

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“The players have been fantastic, but we don’t make a big thing about injuries,” he said.

“We had some last season and we coped well with that situation and we have done the same again during the last few weeks.

“They’re big players and they’re important players for us, but because of the way we work here and how we train, it shows you the strength of our squad as well, then it means other players step up and take their opportunities.

“We adapt accordingly, we adapt the team and we might have to play slightly differently when we have different players on the pitch but it’s something the players have been extremely good at.”

Maxwell and Lavery are now on the mend and have returned to full training during the past week or two.

Both have been sidelined since the start of October, when Maxwell tore his quad and Lavery injured his hamstring during the win against Blackburn Rovers.

Richard Keogh is likely to miss out in South Wales today with the calf strain he picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.

The 35-year-old is nearing a return though and could come back into contention next week.

That won’t be the case with Luke Garbutt, who suffered medial ligament damage during the Stoke game and is looking at weeks on the sidelines, rather than days like Keogh.

Kevin Stewart is going to see a specialist after sustaining yet another setback in his return from an ankle injury, while Oliver Casey is also out with ankle ligament damage.

There’s better news regarding Dujon Sterling, who is fit and available, and CJ Hamilton, who made a goalscoring return from injury during Blackpool’s recent Lancashire Senior Cup win against Everton.

The winger has now recovered from his second foot surgery of the year and could be registered in Blackpool’s squad in time for today’s trip to Swansea if required.

“You can register a play up to 24 hours before a game, so we’d only have to notify the EFL by noon on Friday if we were playing at 3pm on the Saturday,” Critchley said.

“That’s definitely in our thoughts. Whether it will be this Saturday, I’m not sure, but it might be as well; it could happen because he’s fit, he’s training and he’s in good spirits.”

Daniel Gretarsson and Kenny Dougall should both be available for selection after their international exploits for Iceland and Australia respectively.

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