Neil Critchley dedicates Blackpool's first three points of the season against Fulham to 'unbelievable' fans

Neil Critchley dedicated Blackpool’s first league win of the season to the club’s “unbelievable” supporters.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:08 pm

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Blackpool 1-0 Fulham: Josh Bowler's superb solo goal hands Seasiders first leagu...

Neil Critchley dedicated Blackpool’s first league win of the season to the club’s “unbelievable” supporters.

The Seasiders upset league leaders Fulham to claim their first three points of the Championship season thanks to Josh Bowler’s wonderful solo goal.

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Six games into the new season, it lifts Pool out of the bottom three and up to 19th, with five points on their tally.

“I’m really happy for the fans for the way they support the team,” Critchley said.

“We hadn’t sent them home with a victory in the league before today, so to give them that feeling tonight makes it a really good day for us.

“We knew we’d have to play well against a really good team but I thought we did, so I’m delighted with the performance and I’m delighted for the fans.

Neil Critchley celebrates at full-time with Pool's supporters in the North Stand

“I keep saying it and I’m sure all the managers (in the division) will say it, but there’s no better atmosphere than here in this league. They’re unbelievable.

“When Cardiff scored against us earlier in the season, our supporters cheered louder than the away fans. They just get behind the team incessantly for 90 minutes and it’s just relentless.

“We appreciate it so much, we don’t take it for granted. They’re unbelievable, so I’m just so, so happy that we can send them home happy in the sunshine.”

Bowler struck four minutes into the second-half to hand Critchley’s side a deserved lead against Marco Silva’s men in front of 11,268 at Bloomfield Road.

The Seasiders, who also record their first win against the Cottagers in 23 years, were excellent throughout, but had to remain patient having dominated the first 45 minutes.

But the men in tangerine got the goal their excellent display deserved and held onto their lead in a supremely professional manner - grabbing a deserved first three points of the campaign and their first in the Championship since January 2015.

There were exceptional performances across the pitch, from Marvin Ekpiteta at the back, to Kevin Stewart and Ryan Wintle in midfield and Keshi Anderson on the wing, but it’s the collective group effort which impressed Critchley the most.

“I wouldn’t want to single out players today because it was the whole team, I praised the whole group,” he said.

“Josh scored a fantastic goal and when he’s running with the ball, it’s stuck to his feet isn’t it? He’s so hard to get the ball off.

“He just dinked in-between two players and sort of scuffed it, but sometimes it’s better not to catch them clean.

“He’s been a real handful in the games he’s played so far this season. He’s looking a fantastic player.

“Marvin was exceptional at the back, Kev Stewart - that was his first 90 minutes and his first since playing at Wembley - him and Ryan Wintle, the work they got through in the middle of the pitch was unbelievable.”

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