Neil Critchley delighted to remain unbeaten against Championship high-flyers West Brom, Fulham and Bournemouth

Neil Critchley was keen to point out Blackpool’s impressive record against the Championship’s top three after tonight’s battling draw against West Brom.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:02 pm

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Blackpool 0-0 West Brom: Seasiders withstand barrage of pressure in pulsating cl...

The Seasiders had to withstand a barrage of pressure against the high-flying Baggies, who produced an impressive 23 shots on goal without scoring.

Critchley’s side, who have now drawn their last three games, also had their chances, Gary Madine going close on a couple of occasions, while Keshi Anderson and CJ Hamilton also had presentable chances.

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In the end, neither side was able to make the breakthrough, Pool holding on for a draw against a West Brom side that sit third in the division.

It comes after a win against Fulham and a draw away at Bournemouth - the two sides currently occupying the automatic promotion spots - earlier in the season.

“It was a really good 0-0, an entertaining 0-0 and we more than contributed to that,” Critchley said.

“We played some really good football in the early parts of the game and we had some really good moments that we didn’t capitalise on.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

“You know at some point with the way they play and the power and the physicality and size they’ve got on the pitch, they can get on top of you. That’s quite a common theme of their games.

“They got on top of us in the second-half but we defended manfully from set-pieces, long throws, got bodies in the way, made blocks, headers and we weren’t without some big chances of our as well at the other end.

“That’s Bournemouth, Fulham and West Brom we’ve played now and none of them have beaten us.”

West Brom’s style of play differed noticeably from what Pool faced at Swansea on Saturday, but the Seasiders stood up to the pressure and battled admirably.

“They play a certain brand of football, a certain style and it’s very hard to play against,” Critchley added.

“They’ve got some big men, they’ve got pace and they’ve got power and when they get the ball forward quickly, they ask questions of you all the time.

“We got a lot of blocks in and there were a lot of bodies in the way, but I don’t remember too many clear opportunities for them to score.

“Now you could say one of those blocks could land for them, they smash it in and it’s a goal, that’s probably the type of chances they’re going to get because they force you to defend in numbers.

“But in general open play, there weren’t too many opportunities for them really. In fact, we probably had the clearer opportunities in open play.”

Arguably Blackpool’s biggest chance of the night fell to the returning CJ Hamilton, who came off the bench after being registered in the match-day squad on his return from a second foot injury of the year.

The winger was left unmarked 10 yards out, but could only scoop over after being fed by a delicious Keshi Anderson through ball.

“It’s a great little bit of play from Keshi and CJ comes off the line,” Critchley said.

“He just swivels on it but he can’t quite get his bearings on the pitch, which is what you might expect from someone who hasn’t played much football. His timing wasn’t quite there.

“What I would say, that’s CJ. He gets chances and he makes an impact on the game.

“He’s had one of the best chances and he’s only been on the pitch 20 minutes, so he keeps getting in there and he keeps getting into goalscoring positions.”

Aside from that, the home side were also thwarted twice in quick succession in first-half stoppage-time by England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The shot stopper, who has been capped three times by the Three Lions, leapt off the ground to deny Anderson after tipping Gary Madine’s effort away from goal.

“That was a big moment just on half-time,” Pool’s head coach reflected.

“It was brilliant movement from Gary to get across his man. Johnstone makes a brilliant save but then it falls to Keshi.

“I’m right behind it and I’m thinking Keshi is just going to run in and head it into the empty goal, but that’s why he’s in the England squad. He gets up and makes a point-blank save.

“If we had gone in at 1-0, that would have changed the game.

“We had some big chances in the second-half, Gary early on, Gary with a header near the end and CJ’s chance.

“These don’t concede many goals and they don’t concede many chances either, but we’ve had some big moments.”

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