'Cardiff made us play their game': Neil Critchley has no qualms with Blackpool's first defeat of the season

Neil Critchley says he has no qualms with Blackpool’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 6:13 pm
Updated Saturday, 14th August 2021, 6:18 pm

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Blackpool 0-2 Cardiff City: Seasiders fall to defeat on their first home league ...

Neil Critchley says he has no qualms with Blackpool’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City.

The Seasiders were deservedly beaten by Mick McCarthy’s side, who took home the points thanks to second-half goals from Leandro Bacuna and Kieffer Moore.

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Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Barring a short spell in the second-half, Pool were second best throughout and were fortunate to just be on level terms at the interval.

While Critchley’s men rallied late on before Cardiff’s second, it wasn’t enough to stop them from slumping to their first defeat of the season.

“It was a tough day at the office,” he said. “I’ve got no qualms with the result.

“Cardiff made us play their type of game, we didn’t deal with it all the time in the first-half.

“They get the ball forward early, they get the ball in the box and they make it very difficult for you - and we found it difficult.

“We still had one or two moments ourselves, but the quality we produced throughout the game wasn’t there.

“When you get a chance to play, you’ve got to keep the ball and pass the ball better to make it your style of game and we didn’t do it well enough.

“We spoke about a few things at half-time but I’d have to say the first 10 to 15 minutes of the first-half, there was no change, which was worrying.

“They score from a long throw, which can happen, and then we showed a really good response.

“I said to the players if it’s 0-0 after 65 minutes we’ll get on top because they will lose a bit of energy, the game will open up and we’ll start to dictate.

“The game would have followed the same pattern, although it would have been better had it been 0-0.

“But at 1-0 down, the keeper has pulled off an unbelievable save from Grant Ward, Jerry Yates has had a chance, Josh Bowler came on and made a difference.

“If we score at that moment and it goes 1-1 with the momentum and the crowd behind us, who knows what could have happened?

“But they scored an outstanding counter-attacking goal to make it 2-0 and I’ve got no qualms about that goal, because we were taking a risk and they’ve punished us on the counter.

“They’ll look at is as a really professional away performance.”

The decisive moment in the game came five minutes from time, when Callum Connolly’s goalbound shot appeared to hit the arm of a Cardiff defender.

The referee ignored Blackpool’s appeals for a penalty and the visitors immediately broke down the other end of the pitch, where Moore headed home from Ryan Giles’ cross to put the game to bed.

On the handball shout, Critchley said: “I’ve seen it back and Callum breaks forward into the box, we’re committing men forward and he hits one, it gets deflected and it quite clearly hits his arm.

“It doesn’t brush his arm, it hits it and rebounds back into the penalty area 10 yards away from him.

“That’s where being in the Premier League with VAR would have maybe gone our way, but regardless of that decision we didn’t do enough today.”

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