Blackpool will benefit hugely from slender pre-season defeat against Burnley, according to boss Neil Critchley

Neil Critchley believes his Blackpool side will benefit hugely from their slender pre-season friendly defeat against Premier League Burnley.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 10:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 9:52 am

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Blackpool 0-1 Burnley: Seasiders narrowly edged out against Premier League oppon...

The Seasiders put up a spirited fight against their top flight opponents, Jerry Yates squandering two priceless chances before the Clarets nicked it late on.

Defender Bobby Thomas was the man to win it for Sean Dyche’s side, heading home from a corner with 13 minutes remaining.

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Neil Critchley

Regardless of the result, it was a great test for the Seasiders in what was a real step-up in quality from their previous friendlies against Southport, Accrington Stanley and Carlisle United.

“We played against a really good team tonight,” Critchley said.

“You can tell why they’ve been in the Premier League for so long. They’ve got Premier League players and quality right across the pitch.

“I said to the players after the game, if your touch isn’t right, if your technique lets you down, if your decision-making lets you down against good players, you’ve got to chase to win it back. They hurt you.

“Their strength, their speed, their intensity in which they play at, that’s why they’re so successful.

“We found it difficult for the first 25 minutes to half an hour, but we gradually grew into the game and it was quite even after that. We had some good chances.

“But it was a really good test. We were ready for that and we’ll benefit massively from this game.”

Unlike a lot of pre-season friendlies, tonight’s encounter at Bloomfield Road was played at a frantic pace at times - helped by a lively atmosphere off the pitch.

“You have to give Burnley, Sean and their players credit,” Critchley added.

“You can see the mentality they’ve got and that’s what we’re trying to instill into our players.

“This didn’t feel like a pre-season game. It was a really good atmosphere, both sets of supporters were right behind their team and it wasn’t like ‘we’ll let you have it, then they’ll let us have it’. They were after us, we were trying to get after them.

“It was a bit harder for us to get after them because of the quality they’ve got, but it was an excellent game of football. It had a feel of a competitive game.”

Yates had Blackpool’s two clearest chances of the night, while Sonny Carey also went close.

“That was maybe one of the disappointing aspects of the night. We created some really good opportunities and didn’t take one of them,” Critchley said.

“Normally if you give Jerry two chances like that, he’ll take one of them. Sonny had an excellent chance in the second-half as well, Demi (Mitchell) came inside and hit a really good shot. We had some nice moments.

“Even near the end, we were pushing on. I’d just have liked us to get the ball in and around the goal a bit more near the end of the game.

“But we created some good chances, held our own. Don’t get me wrong, they had some good chances as well, but with the players they’ve got at the top end of the pitch you’d expect that to happen.

“All in all, a really good game for us, a good workout and we’ll benefit a lot from that.”

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