Neil Critchley credits Sunderland as being Blackpool's toughest opponents in League One this season

Neil Critchley believes Sunderland are the best side Blackpool have faced in League One this season.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 9:00 am

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Blackpool 1-0 Sunderland: Seasiders open up five-point gap in League One play-of...

The Seasiders cemented their spot in the play-offs yesterday with a pivotal 1-0 win against their promotion rivals.

While it was Blackpool that came out on top, it was a tight game played between two top sides.

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It could easily have gone the other way though, with Aiden McGeady hitting the post with a dipping effort just seconds before Pool scored their decisive goal, which was credited to Ellis Simms despite appearing to come off Sunderland defender Bailey Wright.

The two teams, who hadn’t faced each other before yesterday due to postponements, will face-off once again at the Stadium of Light in nine days’ time.

Speaking post-match on Saturday, Critchley said: “We’ve just been saying as staff that Sunderland are the best team we’ve faced this season with the players they’ve got and the experience and quality they’ve got.

“I don’t remember being as much under pressure as we were. I say pressure, they had a lot of domination of the ball but we still defended the goal well.

It was a tight affair between the two promotion hopefuls

“We didn’t do well enough when we got the ball and we didn’t see the game out like I would have wanted, but you have to give credit to the opposition and the quality they’ve got.

“I would say on that performance Sunderland are probably the best team we’ve faced.”

The Seasiders have a superb record against the league's top sides this season, having beaten Peterborough United home and away and taking four points from leaders Hull City.

Critchley's side also completed a double over Portsmouth and took four points from Oxford United.

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