'Fortunate' - Blackpool boss addresses position after damning rate of manager sackings

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Championship and League One clubs have sacked 22 managers between them in the 2023/24 season.

Neil Critchley admits he is 'fortunate' at Blackpool amid the ongoing rate of managerial changes across the Football League.

It is just over a year since the 45-year-old was dismissed from his role as head coach of QPR. Critchley was dismissed after just two months and 12 games in to the job at Loftus Road and has been a first-hand witness to the precarious life of a manager.

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In the Championship, two clubs in Millwall and Sunderland this week parted company with their managers, both of which had only made managerial appointments in November and December respectively. A total of 12 sackings have been made in the second tier, making for 15 managerial changes after two left via mutual consent and one was appointed of a league rival.

League One has seen ten sackings this season and three managerial changes. The most recent change was Neil Harris this week departing Cambridge United after just a few months to return to his former club Millwall.

Asked about the current rate of managers being sacked, Critchley responded: "I've not seen the stats completely but if you look at 72 Football League clubs and if it was managerial changes, it would be up to 30 something, you're talking around 50%.

"I think those stats show you how incredibly difficult it is now in this role to build any longevity. Sometimes you're looking for stability and support from the people around you.

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"I have that here and I know I am fortunate because it just shows you with the stats you have mentioned there how precarious this position can be."

The former Liverpool coach has been tasked with getting Blackpool back to the Championship at the first time of asking. He was afforded 109 games in charge during his first tenure at the club, guiding the club to promotion via the play-offs in his first full campaign. Critchley after leading them to a respectable 16th-placed finish in their first season back in the second tier made the shock decision to link up with Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa in June 2022 but only lasted a few months.

In his second spell at Bloomfield Road, Critchley has so far managed 46 games, winning 22, drawing 10 and losing 14 which has given him a win percentage of 47.83%. He is under contract at Blackpool until the summer of 2027 after being appointed on a four-year deal back in the summer.

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