Neil Critchley delivers his verdict on Blackpool's comfortable win at Swindon as buoyant Seasiders return to the play-offs

Neil Critchley felt his Blackpool side were in complete control during their Good Friday 2-0 win against Swindon.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:26 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 8:08 pm

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The Seasiders reclaimed their spot in the League One play-offs with a comfortable, almost routine victory, with goals coming in either half from Ellis Simms and Jerry Yates - bagging against his former club.

The win was Blackpool’s fifth on the spin away from home and their first triumph at the County Ground in 35 years, while they’re now unbeaten in their last 12 outings.

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Neil Critchley's side are now unbeaten in their last 12 games

More importantly, it seems them return to the top six ahead of Easter Monday’s pivotal encounter against play-off rivals Gillingham.

“I thought we were very good in the first-half, we had good control of the game,” Critchley said.

“They had a great chance to score inside the first two minutes and I’d expect Brett Pitman, a player of his quality, to score - so we got away with that.

“But after we were in complete control of the game in terms of possession. It was a little bit frustrating we didn’t turn that possession into meaningful chances, but we tried to give them a problem with the way we were playing, playing through the pitch with Elliot (Embleton) playing inside and Sullay (Kaikai) playing inside and outnumber them in the middle of the pitch.

“It was difficult to play on that pitch at times but the players did it well and we got into some good positions, although we didn’t make the most of that.

“It took a moment when Jordan Gabriel bends the ball into the space down the sides and Ellis has used his pace and power before producing a fantastic finish.

“In the second-half we wanted to search in behind a bit more and ask more questions of their back three and I felt we did that.

“Jerry has shown real composure to take the ball around the goal, just like he did against MK Dons away from home.

“I thought we were comfortable after that, but I’ve just told the players we have to keep the ball better when we’re winning.

“People have been saying we’ve been defending deep, but we haven’t. But if you keep giving the ball away against a team that is losing then they’re going to pile forward and throw bodies into the box and they can get on top of you.

“A way to eliminate that is to keep the ball, so the best form of defence is often attack, so I was a bit disappointed with that little spell where we turned the ball over too many times.”

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