Neil Critchley: Blackpool won't panic ahead of crunch clash at Sunderland

Blackpool’s position in League One remains very good and so there’s no “doom and gloom” or panic among the players, according to Neil Critchley.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 8:00 am

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The Seasiders face play-off rivals Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tonight (7pm) looking to bounce back after their hopes were hit by back-to-back defeats.

Pool remain in the top six but only on goal difference with four games to go.

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Blackpool have worked hard to resolve their goalscoring problem of the past two games says Neil Critchley

Head coach Critchley said: “The mood can change quickly in football and we had a big example earlier in the season, when we won three or four on the bounce in the space of 10 days or so and the whole feeling and outlook can change.

“Are we in the perfect moment? No. Are we feeling like we were a few games ago? No. But we’re sixth and we’ve still got lots to be positive about. I promise you there’s no doom and gloom.

“Even during the last couple of performances (against Rochdale and Shrewsbury), we’ve played some really good football and controlled the games.

“We’ve kept possession, dominated and kept the opposition away from our goal. We just haven’t done enough in and around the penalty area and we have to find better solutions.”

All the teams in play-off contention are in action tonight except Oxford, who Pool will overtake if they avoid defeat. However, another slip could see Critchley’s side passed by Portsmouth and Charlton.

He added: “How do we stay calm? It’s very simple, it’s very easy. For the last two games there have been loads of positives to take and a lot of facets of our game that have been encouraging.

“I said when I came here that I want us to be a team that dominates the ball and has control of the game, so you decide what happens on the pitch. We’ve done that in the last two games.

“However, the most important part of the game, scoring goals, has been missing. We’ve played with energy but we understand at this stage of the season results are king.

“We’ve got to stop conceding sloppy goals because against teams who are set up to defend with everyone behind the ball, you then make a hard game even harder.

“We’ve just got to keep reminding ourselves of everything we’ve been doing well.

“There’s no worry here. We’ll just work to find the right solution and keep working as hard as we can to put things right.

“We know it’s still in our hands and still in our control. I’ve said many times when we won that we weren’t getting carried away, and just because we’ve lost two games I can assure you we’re not panicking.”

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