Blackpool players are challenged to be more comprehensive in victory

Blackpool don’t intend to make a regular habit of having to anxiously hold onto one-goal leads.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 8:00 am

That’s according to Neil Critchley who saw his side grind out a 1-0 win against MK Dons on Tuesday.

Critchley and his players will have produced a collective sigh of relief at the full-time whistle, having avoided a third consecutive late setback.

It comes after the Seasiders were pegged back late on in the draws against Crewe Alexandra and AFC Wimbledon.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley saw his side win in midweek
Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley saw his side win in midweek

“It’s not something we haven’t done before because we did it at home against Rochdale, we did it away against Portsmouth,” Critchley said.

“It would be nice if we could make 1-0 into 2-0 and 3-0. That would make it a lot more comfortable and that’s our aim, that’s what we’re trying to do.

“We don’t intend to be holding onto one-goal leads but the longer a game remains at 1-0, the opposition have nothing to lose and throw more bodies forward, so it can then appear like you’re hanging onto the lead, when really it’s just the circumstances of the game.

“When those circumstances arise, we have to be good at dealing with that and in the previous two games, we weren’t.

“You do need a bit of luck. The Wimbledon goal was a little bit of luck on their part. They will say they deserved a point and I couldn’t argue with that.

“The other night, I didn’t think we were hanging on. I didn’t think we were defending inside the penalty area.

“I didn’t think we were under loads and loads of pressure. If anything, we had some good moments ourselves towards the end of the game.

“We had to defend a corner in injury time but we did that really well, so it was a pleasing victory.”

Blackpool take on Fylde coast rivals Fleetwood Town today as they come face-to-face with their former boss Simon Grayson for the first time since his sacking in February 2020.

The Seasiders will be bidding to complete a league double over their neighbours, having beaten the Cod Army 1-0 at Highbury earlier in the campaign while Joey Barton was still in charge.

“I don’t think there’s a massive difference,” Critchley said.

“They’re a team that’s got quality in their squad and they don’t concede many goals.

“They haven’t conceded many goals all season, so that was the same with Joey and it’s the same now with Simon. They always carry an attacking threat as well.

“Maybe they’ve changed their formation a little bit, but other than that they’re very similar.

“They’re hard to beat with good quality at the other end of the pitch and we know we’re going to have to play very well to win the game.”

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