Blackpool players must be cleverer in attack

Neil Critchley says Blackpool have been striving to improve their goalscoring – and that doesn’t just mean better finishing.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 8:00 am

Critchley’s side have scored only once from open play in their last five games and haven’t led in a match since their win at Sheffield United at the end of October.

Pool’s head coach said: “It is something we need to improve on and we speak all the time as a staff about areas we want to improve.

“It isn’t always just about scoring, it’s about the way we get the ball into the final third to create chances.

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“If you get the ball forward into the penalty area with low quality or by hitting aimless balls, it may not lead to good-quality chances.

“We have to look at the type of players we have and try to improve our way of playing to create better goalscoring opportunities for the players we’ve got.

“At Birmingham last weekend, it was a case of individuals not making the right decisions or the right pass, or the quality of pass letting us down.

“That was the message to the players after the game and in the debrief after watching it back. It was a collective issue and is something we need to improve on.”

Blackpool’s goal tally earlier in the season was boosted by summer signing Shayne Lavery’s stunning start.

The Northern Ireland striker raced to eight goals and scored in three successive games before being injured at the start of October.

Lavery hasn’t found the net since returning to action a fortnight ago and has been on the bench in two of Blackpool’s last three games.

Critchley told The Gazette: “We have to remember where Shayne has come from at Linfield, where they don’t train full-time.

“The intensity of this league is obviously greater than he’s used to and he has had a lot going on in his life.

“He’s moved away to a new club, training full-time every day. The intensity and demands on his body are very high and higher than he’s used to.

“He was out for six or seven weeks with a hamstring, so we don’t want to put too much on him too soon from a physical point of view.

“He has been fantastic so far this season and hopefully now we’ll get to see what we got at the start of the season.

“We want a really bright, lively and energetic Shayne Lavery keeping fit for the rest of the season. I’m sure we’ll all get the benefit of that.”

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