Neil Critchley conceded the game “got away” from his Blackpool side in today’s friendly against Premier League champions Liverpool.
The Seasiders squandered a two-goal lead to eventually lose 7-2 to Jurgen Klopp’s men at Anfield in their sixth and final pre-season outing.
Goals from CJ Hamilton and Jerry Yates gave Critchley’s side a surprise first-half lead before Joel Matip pulled one back just before the interval.
However, following a raft of changes, Liverpool’s superior quality finally told as they added six unanswered goals during a dominant second period, with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi all getting on the scoresheet.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half, especially at the start of the game. I thought we had some really promising moments that we didn’t make the most of,” Critchley told The Gazette.
“We allowed them to have the ball in certain areas of the pitch and we tried to stop them from playing through us.
“When you play against a top quality opposition they then find a solution to that and they started to cause us some problems down the sides.
“But we limited them to few opportunities, but when you’re playing against a front three as good as that you’re not going to restrict them and keep them quiet for the whole game.
“I felt at half-time we’ve given as good as we’ve got and we were well in the game.
“The biggest disappointment of the game was the start of the second half, for the first 15 minutes when we went from 2-1 up to 3-2 down.
“Our basics let us down, we didn’t handle the ball well enough, we turned the ball over too quickly and we conceded soft goals. We lacked a little bit of belief at that moment.
“We did then have a good spell but the game got away from us near the end, but when I watch the game back and reflect I’m sure I’ll take the standard of opposition into account and what we were facing.
“For 60 minutes we had given very, very good opponents a really good game.”
With an EFL Trophy group game coming up against Barrow on Tuesday night before Blackpool begin their league season at Plymouth Argyle next weekend, Critchley admits it was always the plan to make wholesale changes at half-time and in the second period.
“We’ve got a busy period coming up, with Barrow on Tuesday night before we start our league programme next week as well,” Pool’s head coach added.
“It’s important everyone gets an opportunity to play to put their case forward to start in the team because we want a competitive squad who compete against each other and bring the best out of each other.
“They players have to feel as though they’re contributing something, so it was important they got minutes today.”