Before the season got underway, only a handful of Pool players - like Chris Maxwell, Richard Keogh, Kevin Stewart and Gary Madine - had prior experience of playing in the second tier on a regular basis.
The vast majority of the rest, meanwhile, are enjoying their first taste of the Championship.
Critchley concedes it took some of them a bit of time to adjust, but since then the Seasiders have demonstrated they belong in the division.
“I think we’ve grown over the course of the season,” Pool’s head coach said.
“We’ve got some inexperienced players at this level but they’re growing into this level of football.
“Early on into the season when we were going to big clubs and going to big atmospheres, we weren’t quite ourselves.
“But we were ourselves in a really big atmosphere (against Preston) last Tuesday and we were again against Blackburn at the weekend.
“We’ve grown over the course of the season and we’ve nearly been there, but that hope has evaporated this week unfortunately.
“But we’ve got six games to go. We’ve got to keep going, we will keep going. Let’s see where we can get to.”
The Seasiders return to action this Easter weekend with a double header against West Brom and Birmingham City.
It comes on the back of a well-earned 1-1 draw against Blackburn, where Critchley’s side were much improved from the derby defeat to Preston in their last game.
Pool were roared on by 3,678 fans at Ewood Park last weekend as they faced their second Lancashire derby in the space of just five days.
“They were incredible,” Critchley said.
“I think there were nearly 4,000 of them here and they feel it like we feel it when we lose.
“That was particularly the case on Tuesday because I can assure you it’s the worst feeling when you lose.
“When they give you the support they do it’s not a nice feeling because you feel like you’ve let people down.
“For us to get back in, give them a goal and give them a point, I think they see a group of players who are committed and will give everything for the shirt.
“If there was a league table for honesty and endeavour then we’d be at the top of it.”
Tickets for Blackpool’s final game of the season, the trip to Peterborough United, go on sale to season ticket holders from 10am today.
The Seasiders have been allocated 1,394 tickets for the game on Saturday, May 7, which kicks off at the earlier time of 12.30pm.
Tickets are priced at £28 for adults, £23 for seniors (65+), £19 for Under-22s, £11 for Under-18s and £5 for Under-12s.
Tickets will go on general sale from 10am on Monday, April 18.
A club supporters' coach will also be making the trip to London Road. Places are priced at £28 per person and must be booked in-person or over the telephone by calling 01253 599745.