'It was nothing to do with the system:' Blackpool boss defends tactical set-up in the Derby County defeat

Neil Critchley has defended Blackpool’s tactical set-up in their 1-0 defeat to Derby County on Good Friday.
Neil CritchleyNeil Critchley
Neil Critchley

A superb first half strike from Ebou Adams proved to be the difference between the two teams at Pride Park, as the visitors failed to make the most of the few opportunities that came their way in the opposition box.

The Seasiders opted to replace the injured Jordan Rhodes with Sonny Carey, who slotted into an attacking midfield role off lone striker Jake Beesley, leaving attackers Kyle Joseph, Shayne Lavery and Kylian Kouassi all on the bench.

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“We had Sonny and Kaddy- we controlled the game and that’s why we played the way we did,” Critchley explained.

“We played well in between both penalty boxes because of how we set up, and then bringing the strikers on, you’ve got to understand where Shayne (Lavery) has just come from, and Kylian has been out for a long time as well.

“It was nothing to do with the system or personnel, it was simple- we failed in the situations we created. We deserved something from the game.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about how to prepare for this game and how to play based on how they set up against us in the home game. It was similar, they’re happy for you to have the ball, and they wait to break, so we wanted to control things and quiet the crowd down.

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“In the first 15 minutes they had more territory than us, but we grew into the game and controlled things in the middle of the pitch which allowed us to build confidence.

“They scored at a really pivotal moment, it was a great strike but we didn’t defend the cross very well. We had a great chance to equalise straight after and we missed.”

The Seasiders made a triple change with just under 20 minutes remaining, with CJ Hamilton coming on alongside Joseph and Lavery after a short wait on the touchline for the wing-back.

“We felt like doing it all at the same time,” Critchley added.

"We were going to make the first change, but then we thought at that moment in time let’s be positive and go for the game, we did that. Kyle nearly scored, but we’ve been nearly men too often.”

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