Neil Critchley: Margin of Blackpool's defeat to Huddersfield Town doesn't tell the whole story

Neil Critchley says the margin of Blackpool’s 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town doesn’t present a true reflection of his side’s display.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:50 pm

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The Seasiders were the better side in the first-half, controlling play confidently and limiting the visitors to very little in the way of an attacking threat.

But they failed to make the most of the chances that came their way, Shayne Lavery the biggest culprit with three missed opportunities.

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Pool’s lack of a clinical touch in front of goal was punished in cruel fashion by the Terriers, who netted three goals in just 14 minutes at the start of the second-half to condemn Critchley’s men to their fourth defeat in their opening seven games.

When asked if 3-0 was a fair reflection of tonight’s game, Critchley said: “No, not at all.

“In the first-half we were the better team. If any team looked like scoring, it was us.

“They didn’t particularly have a clear-cut opportunity to score in the first-half.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

“At the start of the second-half, we’re in a really good attacking position breaking forward. We didn’t quite choose the right, it closed up a little bit and because Tyreece (John-Jules) has run from the left and he’s run across the pitch, when they win the ball, they play the ball across the pitch, get the ball to Koroma and it was a fantastic strike.

“That’s the quality of the Championship and the quality of players you’re playing against.

“We showed a really good response at 1-0. We could have had a free-kick on the edge of the box when Tyreece gets blocked, but it fell to us, Josh (Bowler) crossed it and Shayne (Lavery) nearly scores at the near post. We get a corner and Shayne goes close again.

“The biggest disappointment is the second goal, because it really kills the game. To find yourself two goals down after 54 minutes when we hadn’t done a lot wrong in the game was really difficult to take.

“The third goal, Marvin Ekpiteta’s right in the corner, he kicks it against the lad, it can go anywhere but it spins right into the player’s path along the touchline.

“Maxi (Chris Maxwell) makes a good save but (Jonathan) Hogg scores a fantastic goal from outside the box to make it 3-0.

“You’re scratching your head on the sideline thinking we haven’t done a lot wrong in this game, but now people from the outside will look at it and think we were well beaten and it was a disaster, but it was far from it.

“If we’re overrun, if we’re outplayed, I’ll be the first to hold my hands up. If the players’ mentality or attitude aren’t right, then they’ll be the first to know. But that wasn’t the case.”

While the game was as good as done by the hour-mark, Pool kept plugging away and squandered further chances to reduce the arrears.

Shayne Lavery was the main culprit, missing four presentable chances during the course of the game.

“It would be easy to say the game was over and they dropped off, but you can only do what the opposition give you,” Critchley added.

“I’ve got no complaints with the application of my players tonight. We kept going and we had chances at the end. Shayne had a chance, Josh had a chance.

“In every game, you always ask yourself if you can do this better or that better and we did that after the Fulham game.

“We know we’re going to lose games in this division sometimes and it’s always about the next game.

“Like the Fulham game, it’s gone. This game is gone. We can’t do anything about it so we just have to concentrate on Middlesbrough.”

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