Decision time for Blackpool over Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn
Neil Critchley admits Blackpool are yet to decide whether to extend the stay of Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn.
The midfielder has made only 12 appearances in all competitions for the Seasiders this season and has struggled for game time in recent weeks.
With his loan due to end on January 17, Blackpool must now decide whether they wish to extend the deal until the end of the season or allow the 21-year-old to return to Anfield.
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Head coach Critchley told The Gazette: “No decisions have been made on that one but it’s something we’re discussing.
“That applies for all of the loan players, whether it’s Jordan Gabriel, Dan Kemp or Ben Woodburn.
“Obviously with Dan Ballard we’ve organised that situation, but Ben will come into the conversations we’re having over the next 24 to 48 hours and probably the early part of next week about where we go with those loan players. No final decisions have been made yet, though.
“There’s always a natural break in January for a lot of those loan players, so that can be from both sides.
“For instance, if Ballard had interest from Championship clubs or if Arsenal decided it was better for him to go there, then that could be the case.
“When you have loan players they’re not your players, so the decision doesn’t always rest with you. We only have a certain amount of control over those decisions.”
Woodburn, who will be looking to feature in tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion, has started only one League One game since October.
It’s been a frustrating spell for the Welshman, who was dogged by serious knee injuries during his time with Oxford United last year.
Critchley added: “When Ben first came he started well but unfortunately he contracted the virus and that knocked him back for a couple of weeks.
“While he was away we won all of our games, so it was difficult to get him back into the team.
“It did knock him back a little bit – you could see that in training. You could tell it took him a little period to get over it and recover.
“He’s had a couple of games since and he’s come off the bench a couple of times, so he’s in our squad, and he’s fit and available.
“We’ll see if he’s picked for Saturday.”
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