Message to Blackpool defender Jordan Gabriel from boss Neil Critchley: Stay patient

Jordan Gabriel is among the Blackpool players who must be patient as they try to force their way into the side.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 8:00 am

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That’s according to Neil Critchley, who has an abundance of options in his squad.

Gabriel featured in the small-sided training session on the Bloomfield Road pitch after Saturday’s win against Blackburn Rovers, having been left out of the squad for the second game running.

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Jordan Gabriel has not featured in Blackpool's matchday squad for the past two games

The right-back is fit and available, having recently been forced to self-isolate after his girlfriend tested positive for Covid-19.

But with Chelsea loanee Dujon Sterling performing well in Gabriel’s place, the former Nottingham Forest man must bide his time.

Critchley said of the defender: “He’s fine. We’ve got a good group of players training at the moment, so I’ve got a difficult job

“They have to be patient and ready, but with a few injuries against Blackburn they might be thinking they will get an opportunity. That’s how football works.”

Deadline day signing Owen Dale and Reece James, both recovering from foot injuries, also took part in the Saturday session as did that day’s unused substitutes – Daniel Grimshaw, Cameron Antwi and Oliver Casey – and three players not registered in Pool’s 25-man squad, Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic and Joe Nuttall.

Absent was Bez Lubala, who remains unavailable due to a “club matter”. Chief executive Ben Mansford could not clarify the winger’s situation when asked by The Gazette last week.

With four wins from their last six games, the Seasiders are in fine form and may rue the timing of this international break, though Chris Maxwell, Richard Keogh and Shayne Lavery all suffered injuries at the weekend.

Asked if the two-week break helped his side, Pool’s head coach said: “Yes and no. With the injuries, it might give us a little chance to assess.

“We are in good form, so another game coming quickly wouldn’t have been a bad thing either.

“But we’ve had a good few weeks, we get a little breather now and we can look forward to Nottingham Forest (on October 16).”

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