Brett Ormerod column: Blackpool now have strength across their squad

There’s no game for the Seasiders this week as we’re currently in the international break.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 12:30 pm

Whether or not the break comes at a good time for you depends on what form you’re in.

Sometimes you’re just glad for the break if you’re not winning games.

At other times, you’ve won a few and you’re on a roll, and the break came at the worst time because it put a stop to your momentum.

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Jordan Gabriel added to Blackpool's ranks earlier this week

I was never an international, unfortunately, so it was always a bit of a break for me! I didn’t really mind it though.

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We always had a couple of days off, which was nice.

When I was at Southampton, the training ground was pretty much dead because we had that many internationals who were away.

The ones that stayed, I think there were only five of us, we’d just do a bit of running and then get the weekend off which would give me the chance to get back home.

They’d make sure we still did plenty of running first though, don’t worry about that.

It was still hard training with weights and that sort of thing but it was worth it to get the weekend off.

I didn’t go to the game against Millwall last weekend but I did listen to the report on the radio and Neil Critchley’s post-match comments.

It sounds like they were outstanding despite playing with 10 men for long periods and were very unfortunate to lose the game.

At the moment, it all seems a bit similar to the start of last season where everything was going against them. Let’s hope it ends up the same way!

In all seriousness, it’s been a tough start but as I wrote before, the Championship is a big step up and there’s going to be occasions where you get punished.

They’ve signed a few more players and Jordan Gabriel has rejoined on a permanent deal, so that will certainly help.

Critchley has got plenty of options at his disposal. He just needs to find that winning formula again, which I’m sure he will.

It was interesting to see the club bring in two right-backs on deadline day.

Callum Connolly isn’t a natural right-back but I think he’s done well filling in there so far this season.

The attacking option Gabriel gives will be massive because he came on in leaps and bounds last season.

I’m surprised Forest were willing to let him go because he’s started the season in their team and was doing well by all accounts.

He even started in the game against Derby at the weekend, so it’s not like he’s been frozen out.

That’s a great signing though, so I’m sure the fans are delighted with that one.

He had a fantastic season last year and finished really strongly.

He’s got that pace to fly down the wing, cause problems and get crosses into the box, so Critchley will be happy to get that one over the line – plus having cover as well. That bodes well.

It didn’t escape my attention that Gabriel signed a four-year deal.

We never got that in our day, it was always a year plus a year option – but it was never your option!

It’s new times though, isn’t it? This isn’t the Blackpool of old.

That’s great for him because it provides security and, hopefully, he can fulfil the potential and carry on from where he left off.

There’s strength in all areas, it’s just about clicking now and getting that first win under your belt.

That might be playing on the players’ minds a little bit, even though it’s still early in the season.

The longer it goes on, it’s only natural the players will worry a little bit.

There’s been a few games where they haven’t got what they deserved and there’s been a couple where they’ve come across quality opposition – but that’s the Championship, it’s such a tough league.

I’m still confident though, because there’s more than enough in that squad.

Once they start winning games, they’ll kick on from there.

It doesn’t get any easier though and it’s Fulham up next after the international break.

That won’t be easy at all but that’s just how it goes playing in a league like this.

You’ve got to try and find a way of winning football matches, but that’s easier said than done.

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