Blackpool squad may undergo rest and rotation for Bristol Rovers clash

Neil Critchley admits he will look to rest some of his players for Blackpool’s final day game against Bristol Rovers.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:56 pm

There’s nothing at stake against Joey Barton’s already relegated side on Sunday, other than the final league position which will determine whom the Seasiders will face in the play-off semi-finals.

As it stands, Pool will take on sixth-placed Portsmouth, but both Oxford United and Charlton Athletic still have a chance of stealing the final play-off spot while Sunderland and Lincoln City have already guaranteed their places.

It comes after the Seasiders guaranteed a top six finish with their 2-0 win against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley
Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley

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“With the schedule we’ve had, playing Saturday-Tuesday, I think we’ll have to look at some of the players who have played a lot of minutes and maybe rest one or two and give opportunities to some of the others to play,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“You want to eliminate any risk, but there’s a risk every time you train – never mind play – at this moment in time, so we shall put a bit of consideration and thought into that game at the back end of this week.”

Pool’s midweek win from their game in hand saw them move up to third place in the league table.

While the team that takes to the pitch on Sunday might not be the strongest Blackpool side possible, Critchley has stressed the need to continue the fine form that has seen them win three games on the spin.

“I’ve seen the table now but I haven’t looked at it enough to know all the permutations,” Pool’s head coach added.

“I said, when I came here, we’ll approach every game looking to win and Sunday will be no different.

“We’re at home, we have a good home record and winning again would just keep that momentum going.

“If we win and finish third or fourth, that means we’ll have a home tie in the second leg and that could be an advantage we’d rather have.

“Let’s take care of Sunday and worry about where we are in the league after.”

The play-off semi-finals get underway on May 18 and 19.

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