Blackpool promotion winner gets a familiar feeling about Neil Critchley's squad of 2020/21

One man who knows what it’s like to win promotion through the League One play-offs with Blackpool is Andy Morrell.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 12:30 pm

The former striker scored 16 league goals and 20 in all competitions to help fire Simon Grayson’s side into the Championship at the end of the 2006/07 season.

Like this season, the Seasiders made it to the Wembley final after finishing the campaign in fine form to end in third place.

In fact, Blackpool’s haul of 80 points this term is the first time the club has reached that tally since 2007 – a lucky omen if there ever was one for Sunday’s final against Lincoln City.

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Andy Morrell celebrates scoring against Oldham Athletic in the 2006/07 play-off semi-final second leg

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Morrell told The Gazette: “It’s panned out fairly similar to the season we had, hasn’t it?

“They’ve really come on strong at the back end of the campaign and gone into a mode of playing where they feel like they’re just not going to lose, which is how we felt in 2007.

“We had people on the pitch that would always step up at times of need and we had a really solid group and a team spirit which got us through a lot of games.

“The memories I have of that season are really good ones with the ‘perfect 10’, which was sensational, and going to Wembley on the back of nine of those wins.

“We just had a mentality that we weren’t going to lose and it turned out that way.

“We were really good on the day, nerves didn’t play a part and we backed each other and got a really well deserved win.”

Blackpool’s 2006/07 campaign couldn’t have started much worse, as Grayson’s men languished towards the bottom of the table after winning just one of their opening 11 games.

It was a similar story this time around, as Neil Critchley’s side lost six of their first nine league matches after a summer of huge turnaround, with 17 players arriving and a further 21 departing.

“We had a really bad start that season, we were in the bottom four for the first 10 or 11 games. To come back from that was great,” Morrell added.

“You always talk about the teams in form coming into the play-offs at the end of the season and we did that.

“We nearly got automatic (promotion) on the last day but we didn’t quite manage it. We had the mindset it was always going to be the play-offs for us, just like the team has done this year because it’s been exactly the same.

“They’ve got really good ingredients because they’ve got lads that can score goals, and when you’ve got that in your team, you’ve got every chance of winning games and they’ve certainly done that on a regular basis recently.”

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