Everton loanee Ellis Simms opens up on anguish of missing Blackpool's play-off triumph through late injury
Ellis Simms has recalled the anguish he felt missing Blackpool’s play-off final victory through injury.
The 20-year-old was expected to start at Wembley on Sunday, but he was a surprise absence from Neil Critchley’s squad.
It was later revealed the Everton loanee had sustained a groin injury in the final kick of Blackpool’s final training session before their promotion-decider against Lincoln City.
Critchley admitted afterwards he was forced to change his plans at the last minute, with Demetri Mitchell not discovering he was starting until the morning of the game.
It was a cruel blow for Simms, who had finished the season in excellent form - scoring both goals in Pool’s 2-0 win against Doncaster Rovers, which booked their spot in the play-offs, before bagging another brace in the first leg of their semi-final win against Oxford United.
“The lads were practising penalties after training, I took one and felt a sudden pain in my groin,” Simms revealed, speaking to Everton’s official website.
“It was a massive game and I was gutted to miss it.
“I tried everything but it was very painful and I couldn’t risk making it worse.
“However disappointing it was, I know there will be many more opportunities if I keep working hard and improving.
“Everyone was as upset as me, they knew how much it meant to me.
“They were telling me they wouldn’t have reached the final if it wasn’t for me - and they were eager to win for me, which is so nice.
“I was proud of every one of them. It is a team game, so we all celebrated together. The main thing was to get promoted.
“It is a dream, really. Even though I didn’t play in the final, I felt I played my part in the promotion.
“The injury is one of those things you can’t do anything about. You have to stay positive and I will be back stronger.”
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