Blackpool's fringe players to get some valuable minutes in behind-closed-doors outing

Blackpool’s fringe players will get the chance to impress in a behind-closed-doors outing.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 10:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 10:12 am

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With the Seasiders not back in action until October 16 due to the international break, the club have arranged a friendly for those players in need of minutes.

It's understood the game will be played today, although no details have been provided about Blackpool’s opposition or when and where the game is taking place.

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But speaking to The Gazette after Saturday’s 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers, Neil Critchley confirmed a friendly outing would be arranged.

“We’re looking for a game in midweek for the players that are currently training on the pitch,” he said.

“It will be nice to get them some minutes, then we’ll have some days off and get ready for a full week of training leading into the Forest game.”

A number of Blackpool’s fringe and backup players took part in a small-sided game on the Bloomfield Road pitch after Saturday’s win.

Neil Critchley revealed the Seasiders will play a behind-closed-doors friendly this week

Deadline day signing Owen Dale and Reece James, who are both recovering from foot injuries, were among those taking part.

Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic and Joe Nuttall, three players that haven’t seen any action this season having not been registered in Pool’s 25-man squad, also joined in.

The substitutes from Saturday that didn’t get on were also involved, as were Daniel Grimshaw, Cameron Antwi and Oliver Casey.

One man who was conspicuous by his absence was Bez Lubala, who remains unavailable for selection due to a “club matter”.

Chief executive Ben Mansford was unable to provide any further details about the winger’s situation when asked by The Gazette last week.

Another player that featured in the session was Jordan Gabriel, who has been left out of Blackpool’s last two match day squads.

The right-back is fit and available having recently been forced to self-isolate after his girlfriend tested positive for Covid-19.

“He’s fine, as you can see. He’s out there training,” Critchley said of the defender.

“We’ve got a good group of players training at the moment, so I’ve got a difficult job right now.

“They have to be patient and ready, but with a few injuries against Blackburn they might be thinking they will get an opportunity. That’s how football works.”

With four wins from their last six games, the Seasiders are in fine form and may rue the timing of the international break.

But with Chris Maxwell, Richard Keogh and Shayne Lavery all suffering injuries at the weekend, Critchley concedes that might not actually be the case.

When asked if the break comes at a good time for his side, Pool’s head coach said: “Yes and no. With the injuries, it might give us a little chance to assess and give us a little breather.

“We are in good form, so another game coming quickly wouldn’t have been a bad thing either.

“But we’ve had a good few weeks, we get a little breather now and we can look forward to Nottingham Forest in two weeks’ time.”

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