Neil Critchley: Championship no tougher than Blackpool expected

Blackpool’s return to the Championship has been every inch as difficult as Neil Critchley was anticipating.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 8:00 am

Read More

Read More
Ethan Laird completes move to Swansea City as Blackpool fail in late attempt to ...

The Seasiders have got their league campaign off to a modest start, following their opening day draw at Bristol City with a 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff City.

Critchley’s side are bidding to claim their first win when they take on Coventry City at Bloomfield Road tonight (7.45pm).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jerry Yates and his Blackpool team-mates struggled to make headway against an imposing Cardiff side

When asked what lessons he’s learned from the Championship so far, Critchley said: “You have to be competitive in all moments of games and all areas of the pitch.

“You have to do the basics extremely well.

“What happens in both penalty areas is really decisive and we haven’t been quite good enough at the moment – we certainly weren’t on Saturday.

“Without stating the obvious, you’re playing against players who are technically a little bit better, physically a little bit better. But it’s not something I or the players weren’t aware of.”

The Seasiders were well beaten on Saturday by a Cardiff side expecting to challenge for promotion.

Mick McCarthy’s side missed a host of clear-cut chances in the first half but scored twice in the second to condemn Pool to their first defeat of the season.

Reflecting on a tough day at the office, Critchley said: “On balance of chances and shots at goal, Cardiff deserved to win the game.

“I’ve obviously watched the game back again. Similar to Bristol City, our start to the game was good.

“But we weren’t persistent enough with what we were trying to do and what our plan was, and that allowed Cardiff to impose their style of game on us.

“They get the momentum and we’re not good enough to wrestle that back from them.

“We have to show a bit more belief in what we’re doing, especially when things aren’t going our way.

“When we did show that in the second half, we had a very good team pinned back in their own half for a good spell.

“We played some really good football and we created some good opportunities but we didn’t make the most of them.

“If it goes 1-1, with the crowd behind us and the momentum, then quite quickly football can change.

“You’re not always going to be picture perfect – it’s not a beauty contest. You might be rubbish for 60 minutes but win the game in the last 30, that’s football.

“But over the course of the 90 minutes, I’ve got no complaints with Saturday’s result.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here