Neil Critchley believes Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn could be the man to unlock opposition defences for Blackpool

Neil Critchley believes deadline day arrival Ben Woodburn could be the player to unlock opposition defences for Blackpool.

By Matt Scrafton
Monday, 19th October 2020, 9:46 am
Updated Monday, 19th October 2020, 9:52 am

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The 21-year-old arrived at Bloomfield Road last week, joining the Seasiders on loan until January 17.

Despite a frustrating couple of seasons marred by injury, Woodburn remains highly-rated by his parent club Liverpool and has already been capped 10 times by Wales.

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The Seasiders have lacked a cutting edge in the final third this season and Critchley hopes Woodburn could be the solution to that problem.

“I know Ben very well from my time at Liverpool, I’ve known him for a number of years,” Critchley said.

“He can play in different attacking positions or in midfield and he’ll bring some quality, intelligence and he might be the one that opens up a game and give you that little bit of quality and creativity in the final third, so I’m delighted he’s joined.”

Woodburn was the first of two deadline day signings on Friday, his move closely followed by the acquisition of former Barnsley midfielder Kenny Dougall.

Woodburn remains highly-rated by Liverpool

“Kenny is someone we’ve identified for a number of months. We knew he was on a free transfer,” Critchley added.

“He’s a really good footballer, a real technician who connects the game well together. We’re delighted they’ve both joined.

“We’ve had a big turnaround in personnel, so it’s going to take us some time to gel as a team and that will take work.

“But if we keep performing as we did against Crewe then I’m confident we’ll win games of football and soon.”

The double signing brought an end to a hectic transfer window for the Seasiders, who ended up bringing in 17 players and moving on a further 17.

But now the window has finally closed, Critchley is looking forward to concentrating on doing what he does best - coaching his players on the training ground.

“It’s been very busy. I couldn’t have asked for greater support from everyone,” Critchley said.

“Now the window has shut, we can get to work with the players we’ve got. That work together is really crucial to build what I think will be a good team in the future.

“We want to build an identity the supporters can be proud of, we want to be an attacking team that plays on the front foot and I think we showed that at Crewe.

“If we keep doing that and the players keep believing in what we’re doing then I’m confident we can have a good season.”