‘He knows my thoughts’: Blackpool boss Neil Critchley on the future of ex-Derby County and Huddersfield Town defender

Neil Critchley says he’s hopeful of a positive resolution over Richard Keogh’s Blackpool future.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 8:00 am

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The 35-year-old is among a handful of players who are out of contract at the end of the season, albeit with an option to extend by 12 months.

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The likes of Stuart Moore, Jordan Thorniley, Keshi Anderson and Josh Bowler are also in the same boat.

Grant Ward, meanwhile, is also coming to the end of his deal, although there’s no clause to extend.

The centre-back has proven a popular figure with the fanbase since signing on a free transfer last summer – and the supporters are now desperate to see him prolong his stay on the Fylde coast.

Neil Critchley has held talks with Richard Keogh over his future

When asked if Keogh’s future could be resolved soon, Critchley said: “Yeah, hopefully.

“It was a top performance on Saturday, he was pretty much foot-perfect throughout the game. He reads the game well, he starts our attacks well.

“Keesy knows my thoughts, he’s a fantastic person, a fantastic professional and we love having him here.”

Keogh has impressed during his 30 appearances this season and has also proven to be an invaluable centre-back partner for Marvin Ekpiteta.

Ekpiteta, who won Blackpool’s players’ player and fans’ player of the season awards, will have gained invaluable experience working alongside a player who has featured at the top level for 18 years.

“Keesy has been fantastic,” Critchley recently told The Gazette.

“He’s a top, top professional and a brilliant person first and foremost and that’s before you start talking about his playing qualities.

“I will be sitting down with Keesy and discussing what he thinks and what we think. I wouldn’t want to go into that in detail until we’ve spoken because I wouldn’t want to speculate on those conversations.

“But he’s a top person and he’s been invaluable for us and our squad this season. I love having him here and I think he’s absolutely brilliant.”