Blackpool's difficult start was a positive experience
Neil Critchley believes Blackpool’s nightmare start to the season has proven a valuable learning curve.
Today’s opponents, Lincoln City, won 3-2 at Bloomfield Road in the fourth game of the season, leaving Pool in the bottom four.
Critchley’s men led with five minutes to go but the Imps scored twice in four minutes after James Husband’s straight red card.
The Seasiders who would eventually go on to lose six of their opening nine games, have since produced a remarkable turnaround to sit inside the play-offs, one point and one position above the Imps.
“Every manager, every coach, can look back at the whole season and pick out ifs, buts and maybes,” Critchley told The Gazette.
“There will be plenty of other games where managers can say ‘if we had won that game, if we had beaten that team, if we had held on etc then the league would be different.’
“My reflection on that period is that we were just finding our feet a little bit as a group and finding out about each other.
“I do think it helped us to go through that period. It was probably a little bit longer than I would have hoped, but we just had such horrendous luck and things were going against us. The Lincoln game for me typified that.
“I honestly don’t believe we’ve won one game this season which we haven’t deserved to win. There’s not been one game.
“Some of the losses, on the other hand, I actually think we deserved to win some of those games.
“People can say we weren’t doing this, we weren’t doing that, we just had to stay patient and keep believing in what we were about as a group at that moment in time because we were performing well.
“A lot of the stats – I know it’s not just about stats, the most important thing is the result at the end of the game – would back that up, but we just weren’t turning it into wins.
“Fortunately we found a way in the end and we’ve continued to do that.”
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