Neil Critchley delighted with Blackpool's battling three points against Blackburn Rovers - but admits injuries take the 'gloss' off slightly

Neil Critchley praised his side’s resilience for the manner in which they battled to a heroic three points against Blackburn Rovers.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 8:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 8:23 pm

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Blackpool 2-1 Blackburn Rovers: Injury-hit Seasiders produce a heroic effort to ...

The injury-hit Seasiders lost Chris Maxwell (quad), Richard Keogh (groin) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring) to injury during this afternoon’s 2-1 win in their all-Lancashire affair.

With other players going down and complaining of knocks, the Seasiders somehow managed to find a way to see out the win - even when eight minutes of time were added on at the end of the 90.

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Goals from Lavery and his replacement Jerry Yates gave Pool a deserved two-goal at the break after producing some scintillating football.

But Blackburn made for a tense second-half when Ben Brereton-Diaz reduced the arrears five minutes into the second-half.

But Critchley’s side held on for a fourth win in six, extending their superb run of form which has seen them avoid defeat in five of their last six.

“I’m very pleased,” Critchley said at full-time.

Neil Critchley with Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray

“It was a really good game, a good derby. It was entertaining and full of drama and incidents.

“I thought we were fantastic in the first-half and played some really good football. We were deservedly leading at half-time.

“Second-half, we’ve had to show a lot of character, plenty of resilience and we’ve had a little bit of misfortune with players going off, which disrupted us - there’s no doubt about that.

“But some of the players that came on gave some good performances, so overall we’ve had a good few weeks and I’m delighted with these three points.

“We’ve got a nice little break to look forward to now.”

After eight minutes of time were added on at the end of the 90, the Seasiders were given a huge helping hand from the Bloomfield Road faithful - who helped Critchley’s men get over the line.

Stuart Moore, who replaced the injured Maxwell during the second-half, made a vital stop in the fifth minute of eight.

“I knew there was going to be a lot of time because of the injuries, but when the board came up with eight minutes…,” Critchley pondered.

“Stuart Moore, what a fantastic save. He’s a top professional.

“It’s such a difficult job being a goalkeeper when you don’t get opportunities to play. He’s come into a game like this at such a tense period. It’s 2-1 in a derby game and he’s made a save like that, it was a big save, so I’m delighted for him.”

Despite the pulsating nature of Blackpool’s hard-earned win, Critchley couldn’t hide his frustration regarding the injuries to arguably three of his side’s most important players.

“That takes a little bit of gloss off the three points, to be honest,” Pool’s head coach added.

“Shayne, it’s his hamstring. We’ll just have to wait with that and he’ll have to go for a scan. I’m 99.9 per cent sure he won’t go away with Northern Ireland though.

“Richard Keogh, it was his groin, which he felt during the first-half so he had to come off. Maxi was his quad.

“When you’re taking Richard off, who obviously brings an assurance to our play at the back, it’s just his experience you miss, so he’s a big miss.

“You miss Shayne up front and you miss your captain. We’ve had big disruptions today but the players couldn’t have given much more to get the three points.

“It was an unbelievable victory and I’m just delighted for the supporters.”

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