"Fantastic moment" with Blackpool fans at Northampton a sign of things to come for Neil Critchley
Neil Critchley is hoping it won’t be too long until Blackpool are playing in front of a greater number of fans after being given a small glimpse on Saturday.
A group of around 20 watched Blackpool’s 3-0 win over Northampton Town from a hill behind one of the goals at Sixfields.
Critchley and his players marched over to that corner of the ground to applaud them at the final whistle.
The Seasiders can confirm a top-six finish with a point at home to Doncaster Rovers tonight (7pm), raising the prospect of fans returning to Bloomfield Road in greater numbers for the play-off semi-finals.
These are scheduled for the week starting May 17, when Blackpool would be able to play in front of a quarter-full Bloomfield Road in accordance with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Twenty five per cent of Blackpool’s ground capacity is 4,334.
Pool’s head coach thanked those fans for their support on Saturday and hopes to see more of them soon. “That was a fantastic moment,” Critchley told The Gazette.
“I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t notice them until I walked on to the pitch but I did hear them at the end.
“It’s amazing how many times after games a member of my staff will ask if I heard or saw something ... but I never do.
“It was only when I walked on the pitch at full-time that I saw them up there, but it was brilliant and a really nice feeling to see them on the hill.
“Wherever they are from, we thank them for being there and we thank them for their support. It was an amazing effort.
“I’m just glad we won the game and got the three points, although I’m not sure if they saw the goals! They might have seen the two at the other end.
“I think it was just a spur of the moment thing for the players to walk over to them.
“I just saw them shouting towards the top corner and I honestly didn’t know what they were shouting at.
“It was a great moment and hopefully in a few weeks’ time we can get a few more in.”
If Blackpool lose tonight, their quest will go down to Sunday, when they host relegated Bristol Rovers on the final day.
Play-off outsiders Charlton Athletic are also in action tonight at home to Lincoln City, who are safely in the top six with Sunderland.
The other play-off contenders, Portsmouth and Oxford United, face Accrington Stanley and Burton Albion respectively on Sunday.
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