Blackpool hoping to receive injury boost ahead of trip to Shrewsbury Town- with trio making progress

Neil Critchley is hopeful Blackpool will be able to welcome back some of their recent absentees for Saturday’s game away to Shrewsbury Town.
Hayden Coulson was among the Blackpool players who missed Tuesday night's game through injury (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)Hayden Coulson was among the Blackpool players who missed Tuesday night's game through injury (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)
Hayden Coulson was among the Blackpool players who missed Tuesday night's game through injury (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)

The Seasiders have been without 15-goal striker Jordan Rhodes since the end of January, with a rib injury keeping the Huddersfield Town loanee out of action after being involved in a collision against Charlton Athletic.

Meanwhile, both Hayden Coulson and Shayne Lavery were forced off in last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers due to muscle tiredness, but the pair shouldn’t be on the sidelines for too much longer after missing the midweek 1-0 defeat to Leyton Orient.

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Ahead of the trip to the New Meadow, Critchley said: “We hope Hayden and Shayne will both be fine for Saturday, they did a bit of training yesterday, so if they don’t have any negative reaction they will be in contention for the squad tomorrow.

“They’ve both been important players for us recently. Hayden gives us good balance on that side of the pitch, and Shayne offers us something different at the top end. If they were available then that would help.

“Rhodesy is getting closer day by day, so we’ll give him as long as possible. He’d give everyone a lift- internally I know the players have a huge amount of respect for him, so to have him back in the squad would be a real bonus. When opposition coaches see his name on the teamsheet, it helps us in terms of a psychological battle. He brings intelligence and calmness at the top end of the pitch. It’s important to have experience in certain areas, and he certainly brings that.

"He did a part of training yesterday, but that was probably his first time with the group, so we’ve just got to give him as long as possible.”

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Lavery has scored five times in 22 League One appearances this season, but has been absent at various times due to different injury problems. Prior to his recent short stint on the sidelines, the 25-year-old has produced some bright displays, and found the back of the net from the penalty spot in the 2-1 win away to Peterborough United.

"Coming back from injury it can take you a little bit of time to find your rhythm, just to build that little bit of confidence in yourself,” Critchley added.

"I felt he had done that. Against Peterborough he was outstanding- particularly in the second half he was unplayable at times. If he was available for Shrewsbury then that would be an added boost. To have that type of firepower either starting or from the bench is a big option.

"We had to bring him off against Bolton because he said he felt something, so we don’t want to take any risks with him, but he’s responded to treatment and hopefully we can progress him a little bit further.

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"We take a duty of care with all of our players, discussing what is right for every individual- they don’t always do the same type of training or the same amount. Shayne’s no different, he’s an important member of our squad. We’d be delighted if he could be involved and stays injury free, because between now and the end of the season he could prove to be an important player for us.”