Blackpool will only grow stronger vows boss Neil Critchley

Neil Critchley believes Blackpool’s strength in depth has been proven by their recent winning run.

By Matt Scrafton
Monday, 16th November 2020, 8:00 am

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The Seasiders have been depleted by injuries and suspensions in recent weeks, with Ben Woodburn also missing after testing positive for Covid-19.

Despite having eight players unavailable at one point, Blackpool are continuing to enjoy a strong revival.

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Neil Critchley's Blackpool have won their last four games in all competitions

Critchley’s side, who had no weekend match and next play away to League One leaders Peterborough United on Saturday, have won four games on the spin in all competitions and five of their last six.

Blackpool’s boss believes that just goes to demonstrate the value of the club’s strong recruitment work during the summer.

Critchley told The Gazette: “The team that has taken to the pitch and even the bench was strong and we’re only going to get stronger.

“I do believe we’ll get stronger in the second half of the season, when the consistency, the relationships and the understandings of the players improve, and the way we train and prepare will definitely help us.

“The players are going to have to perform well in training as well as in the games if they want to be selected or stay in the team.”

One man who has enjoyed an impressive run of form in recent weeks is Gary Madine, who has often partnered Jerry Yates in attack.

Much to the striker’s frustration, Madine often found himself on the substitutes’ bench in the early stages of the campaign.

But the 30-year-old has been a regular starter in recent league outings, which has coincided with Blackpool’s upturn in form.

The forward was also at his best in the FA Cup first-round win at Eastbourne Borough, where Madine netted a brace in their 3-0 victory.

Critchley added: “He’s a real focal point in the way we build our attacks.

“He scored two really well-taken goals in the FA Cup and he’s an important member of our squad, so I’m delighted for him.

“He wanted to stay on and get a hat-trick at Eastbourne, which is understandable, but he had done his job and we felt that in the last 10 or 15 minutes Jerry would stretch their defence going the other way.

“We thought that might give us some space in front of them.

“Jerry has got the third goal late on by stretching their defence.

“I thought he had taken it a bit too wide but it’s always nice when the strikers get goals for you.”

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