Neil Critchley: Blackpool have no plans to sell Jerry Yates amid Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest links
Neil Critchley insists Blackpool have no intention of selling their top goalscorer Jerry Yates.
It comes after speculation this week that Championship trio Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest are all keeping tabs on the 24-year-old.
The striker, who is reportedly valued at £2m by the Seasiders, took his tally for the season to 16 goals with a brace in Tuesday’s 3-1 home win against Peterborough United.
Responding to the rumours, head coach Critchley told The Gazette: “It’s part and parcel, standard practice of football. If someone is doing well in a certain division, then it will attract interest from teams above you.
“That would be the same if it was a League Two team – League One teams would be looking at the best players in that division.
“Jerry is doing well, playing well and scoring goals, so I’d expect him to be attracting attention from teams above, that’s normal.
“In fact, I hope he does attract attention because that means he’s doing well for us.
“Jerry signed a long-term contract here, so he’s under contract with us. He’s with us and we’re not looking for him to move any time in the near future.”
The former Rotherham United front man penned a three-year deal with the Seasiders during the summer, with the option to extend by 12 months.
Yates is a potential doubt for tomorrow’s home game against Plymouth Argyle after suffering a dead leg in midweek.
Yates would be a major miss for Critchley’s side, who are already without eight key first-team players.
Yates has thrived playing up front on his own in recent weeks, with Elliot Embleton playing in the number 10 role just off him.
But he’s also combined well with Gary Madine and Ellis Simms at other points in the campaign as part of a front two.
Critchley added: “This is where we’ve had to be adaptable. Gary hasn’t been in the team (due to injury), so we’ve had to manoeuvre certain players around.
“Sometimes we’ve played with Ellis and Jerry. Recently we’ve played with Elliot and Jerry because we felt it was the right thing to do.
“We always look at the opposition and consider what their strengths are, and how we can counteract that and find an advantage on the pitch.
“Jerry can play on his own, he can play with Gary, he can play with Ellis, he can play with Elliot.
“Jerry’s just a low-maintenance player, who loves to play football.
“He wants to play every single minute of every game. You know exactly what you’re going to get from him as well.
“Look at Oxford’s centre-halves and their defensive record and at Peterborough’s – I think he’s given some good players in this league a very, very hard time in the last couple of games.”
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