Blackpool will keep their feet on the ground ahead of Gillingham's visit
Neil Critchley insists his Blackpool players won’t be getting distracted by the significance of today’s game against play-off rivals Gillingham.
The Seasiders welcome Steve Evans’ players to Bloomfield Road this afternoon for their second game of the Easter programme.
It comes after they reclaimed their place in the top six with a comfortable 2-0 victory against League One strugglers Swindon Town on Good Friday, their fifth straight away win.
Next up are Gillingham who sit just two points adrift of Blackpool in the league table – making today’s game a big one as the Seasiders look to gain revenge for the 2-0 defeat they suffered at Priestfield earlier in the season.
Critchley refuses to get caught up in the hype, telling The Gazette: “It’s quite easy, we don’t get carried away when we win and we don’t get too down.
“It’s just the next game and we have a consistent way of preparing, so this is Gillingham, this is what they’re good at, this is what we’re going to need to do to try and win the game, and we prepare the same way.
“We don’t talk about league tables, we don’t talk about big games, it’s just the next game.
“Gillingham is a tough game but they all are in this division.”
Like Blackpool, Gillingham have been in fine form recently, losing just one of their last nine games.
“You know what you’re going to get with Gillingham, they’re on a great run and they’ve been very hard to beat all season and hard to play against – as we know,” Critchley said.
“It would be lazy analysis just to label Gillingham a certain type of team. They’ve actually got good players in the team and they play more football than maybe people give them credit for.
“That’s credit to Steve Evans and the job he has done this season because they’ve improved and got better, but so have we.
“It makes for a really good game on Monday.”
The Gills played on Wednesday last week rather than Good Friday, allowing their players an extra couple of days’ rest.
Critchley won’t be using that as an excuse, insisting his players will be ready to go again after stretching their unbeaten run to 12 games at the County Ground.
Speaking after Friday’s victory, Pool’s head coach said: “The players will be off tomorrow and they’ll be back in on Sunday.
“We’ll have a conversation on the bus journey home to discuss the team, tactics and how we’re going to prepare.
“On Sunday it will be just about how we want to play on Monday, but we’ll be ready and we’ll be fresh.
“I don’t think the Swindon game took too much out of us physically, so if you’re not physically prepared for a certain type of game on Monday then a difficult game can become even more difficult. We’ll be ready.”
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