Blackpool owner makes hint on Neil Critchley's status at the club as he shares confidence in ex-Liverpool academy coach

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler remains confident in Neil Critchley’s ability to guide the club back to the Championship.
Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell / CameraSport)Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell / CameraSport)
Neil Critchley (Photographer Rob Newell / CameraSport)

In his previous spell in charge at Bloomfield Road, the former Liverpool academy coach helped the Seasiders to promotion via the League One play-offs, before enjoying a solid campaign in the second tier. He departed the club in 2022 to take up a role under Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, but returned to the Fylde Coast last summer.

Sadler, who has owned Blackpool since 2019, believes Critchley’s side can still make a late push for the top six, despite currently being six points off the pace.

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In a recent interview with BBC Radio Lancashrie, he said: “All seasons are different- last season was really disappointing, obviously a few things went wrong. We want to go back up again, so that’s the goal. I’d like to have a few more points on the board, I’m sure everyone would.

“It’s the Blackpool way to have a late run for the top six and then to get promoted- we’re the play-off kings. You could say this is going according to the Blackpool book so far as long as we get there in the end.

“The staff and the players have great belief. We all know they’ve been a bit inconsistent, and that’s what they need to solve. If Neil doesn’t do it this year, then he’ll have to do it next year- it’s that simple. He’s done it before for us, he’s a great man. He works hard and knows his football.”

In his interview with BBC Radio Lancashire, Sadler also discussed the thinking behind Critchley’s reappointment in the summer.

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“It was only difficult from the perspective that people would say ‘it’s the third time you’ve gone back,’” he added.

“If he hadn't been our manager, he would have had the credentials. He took us up in good style and he kept us up. We did bring in a consultant and did some analysis, and it kept pointing to Neil being the man for us to achieve our goals- and I’m very happy with him.”