Blackpool hope duo will be back for Morecambe friendly

Neil Critchley is hopeful both Marvin Ekpiteta and Keshi Anderson will be fit for Blackpool’s final pre-season friendly at Morecambe today.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 8:00 am

The pair were left out for the midweek game against Burnley as a precaution after picking up slight knocks.

Critchley admitted to The Gazette that he could have risked the duo on Tuesday night, but he felt it would have been too big a risk ahead of Blackpool’s league opener at Bristol City next weekend.

“Keshi took a heavy whack to his quad in the game at Carlisle,” Pool’s head coach said.

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“He was desperate to play against Burnley and he trained earlier in the day on Tuesday, but we deemed it a bit of an unnecessary risk.

“I’m sure he’ll be back involved on Saturday.

“As for Marvin, it was a funny one because he trained on the pitch with us on Monday and he was fine, but we were in on Tuesday afternoon to walk through a few things and he felt something in the morning.

“Again, we didn’t want to take a risk at this stage of pre-season.

“We don’t expect it to be serious and, fingers crossed, he’ll be okay for Saturday.”

Critchley, who is already without a host of first-team players following the recent Covid outbreak among his squad, is hopeful no further knocks were suffered during the midweek friendly.

“Normally when players settle down and a lot of adrenaline and emotion after the game and after they’ve slept, they can feel that kick they had on the foot or the little twinge they felt has got a bit worse,” he said.

“I’m always a bit apprehensive straight after the game saying everyone is okay, but we shall see.

“At the moment, it’s too soon to say if everyone came through it okay.”

On a more positive note, the Seasiders could be boosted by the return of one or two others who have been recently missing as a result of the Covid outbreak.

“It’s not ideal the situation we’ve got,” Critchley added.

“Some players came back after missing the Carlisle game on Saturday and we’re hopeful we’ll get one or two more back for the Morecambe game on Saturday.

“It can interrupt the flow of the game. A lot of the supporters don’t get to see what goes on at the training ground every day so it can be tough sometimes for them to know why we’ve made certain decisions.

“There’s always a lot of thought that goes into the team we pick and how long they play and who comes on for who.

“It can get a little bit disruptive and it was a little bit on Tuesday night, but I thought the players that came on for the last 25 minutes acquitted themselves well.”

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