Neil Critchley gives his thoughts on Blackpool's play-off final foes Lincoln City ahead of Sunday's Wembley showdown

Neil Critchley hopes it will be third time lucky at Wembley this weekend in Blackpool’s quest to beat Lincoln City.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 2:58 pm

Read More

Read More
Blackpool captain Chris Maxwell would swap Golden Glove and all individual honou...

Neil Critchley hopes it will be third time lucky at Wembley this weekend in Blackpool’s quest to beat Lincoln City.

Blackpool’s play-off final opponents have taken four points off Critchley’s side this season, winning 3-2 at Bloomfield Road at the start of the season before coming from two goals behind to snatch a 2-2 draw at Sincil Bank in April.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Those two results perhaps don’t tell the full story though, as Pool were leading 2-1 late on in the game at home before James Husband was sent off, while they were deservedly leading by two goals in the away encounter and ought to have put the game to bed.

“We played Lincoln right at the start of the season when they got off to a really good start,” Critchley recalled.

“We went 2-1 up with maybe six or seven minutes to go and in that stage of the game I felt we just about deserved to be in front.

“The game changed in a matter of seconds and them scoring from a corner in injury time sort of summed up the period we were in at the start of the season, because everything seemed to be going against us.

Lincoln took four points from Blackpool during the regular season

“That game was so similar to the other performances which probably merited more, but we got nothing from the game.

“That shows you what Lincoln are about as well, because they stay in the game and they’ve always got the ability with the players they’ve got to cause you a problem at the other end of the pitch.

“That was there to see in the game we played not so many weeks ago where I thought we were excellent for 75 minutes and were deservedly winning the game.

“But they stayed in the game and they punished us for two moments of lapses in concentration and they got a draw.

“We’ve not beaten them and they’ve taken four points from us, but the challenge for us now is to make it third time lucky.”

While the Seasiders overcame Oxford United over two legs to reach Sunday’s final, the Imps edged past Sunderland, winning 3-2 on aggregate.

It’s been an impressive campaign for Michael Appleton’s side, who have performed beyond expectations for the entirety of the season.

“The job Michael has done this season with his team has been outstanding,” Critchley added.

“They’ve been in the top six all season and for long periods they were in the top two.

“There were lots of people questioning whether they would sustain that and they have, which is a remarkable achievement for Michael and his team.

“A team that can beat Sunderland over two legs tells you all you need to know about the quality they’ve got.

“It was four good teams starting in the play-offs and now it’s down to two. They’re a good team and so are we, so I expect a very good game on Sunday.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here