Jerry Yates deserves all the plaudits in the world for hitting 20 goals after the stuttering start he made to his Blackpool career

Neil Critchley says Jerry Yates deserves all the plaudits in the world for hitting 20 goals after the stuttering start he made to his Blackpool career.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 9:46 am

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Neil Critchley says Jerry Yates deserves all the plaudits in the world for hitting 20 goals after the stuttering start he made to his Blackpool career.

The 24-year-old reached the accolade during Easter Monday’s 4-1 win against Gillingham, netting a brace to make it six goals in his last four games.

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In reaching 20 goals in a season, he became the first Blackpool player to achieve the feat since Andy Morrell during the 2006/07 promotion-winning campaign.

The striker, a summer signing from Rotherham United, will be delighted with his season’s form having failed to find the back of the net in his first 11 games.

“Considering the start he had to the season, which was similar to the team, the goalscoring record since then has been top drawer,” Critchley said.

“He’s looking really on form, full of confidence and we brought him off at the end just to save him a little bit.

Neil Critchley has been delighted with Jerry Yates' goalscoring form this season

“But he’s bang in form and if we keep him on the pitch and he stays fit, then hopefully he can add to his tally because 20 goals is a fantastic achievement for him.”

At the other end of the pitch, centre-back pairing Dan Ballard and Jordan Thorniley were in top form against Gillingham’s man-mountains John Akinde and Vadaine Oliver.

Critchley was especially impressed with Ballard, who continues to adapt to the level of League One having previously played the majority of his football with Arsenal’s youth teams and at international level with Northern Ireland.

“I thought he really stood up to the task, competed well and won a lot of headers - him and Jordan Thorniley,” Critchley said.

“Both were excellent and that’s the reason why we picked both of them to play at centre-half (against Gillingham).

“They competed against two really difficult centre forwards and kept them quiet, other than the one goal.

“That’s not a header from a cross, it’s just a ball into the box and we should have got tighter to him because he’s been allowed to turn and shoot in the box.

“But generally their performance was fantastic.”

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