Blackpool winger's outside chance of making Middlesbrough trip

Neil Critchley has revealed there’s a slim chance Demetri Mitchell could return from injury at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:00 am

The winger is yet to kick a ball for the Seasiders this season, having injured his knee during the friendly against Morecambe at the end of July.

It was a cruel blow for the 24-year-old, who ended last season strongly and was Blackpool’s standout performer in pre-season.

Assessing Pool’s options for Saturday’s trip to the Riverside Stadium, Critchley told The Gazette: “Everyone is okay. It was nice for Gary Madine to get 20 minutes on the pitch (against Huddersfield Town), Dujon Sterling came on for his debut.

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“Demi has started training but that’s it really, so it’s a similar situation (to Tuesday night).

“Demi started training from Sunday, having been out for six weeks, but during that time, he’s been doing a lot of fitness work for 10 days to two weeks prior to joining in with training.

“Demi could come into consideration for the squad for this weekend, but we’ll just have to decide whether, physically, he’s at the level to join back in or whether it’s too soon for him.

“Demi had a fantastic pre-season and was an important player, so he’ll be a good addition to the squad when he does return.”

The Seasiders will be looking to get back to winning ways tomorrow after losing heavily to Huddersfield Town in midweek.

Critchley’s side were well in the game but were made to pay for their poor finishing by the Terriers.

They notched three goals in just 14 minutes at the start of the second half.

Reflecting on the defeat, Critchley said: “When you watch it back, it just reaffirms what I thought at the time. These things can just happen sometimes.

“As a coach, you look at trends that happen over a period of time. If those things are occurring on more than one occasion, you can then rectify that and do something about it.

“Having watched the game back and watched that period, you’re looking for things we could improve on.

“To be honest, you’re looking at isolated moments, because we didn’t do a lot wrong.

“It is just the harsh reality of the Championship because the quality of players you’re playing against can punish you.

“The second one was the avoidable goal, we could have prevented that. That was frustrating because it came at a really important stage in the game.

“Our response to going 1-0 down was very good straight away. For the next five minutes we were on top and nearly scored ourselves.

“For them to go straight down the other end and score from a corner meant the game got away from us very quickly.

“It was a strange feeling, because from being slightly the better team in the first half to being 3-0 down in the space of 15 minutes meant the game was over.

“It shocked and surprised everyone; the players, the supporters and everyone there. It was a strange feeling.”

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