Neil Critchley on the ‘difficult’ decision to select Dan Grimshaw over Stuart Moore for Blackpool

Neil Critchley is fully aware he was always going to make himself unpopular with the goalkeeper he left out on Saturday.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:42 pm

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With Chris Maxwell absent with a torn quad, Critchley had to choose between Dan Grimshaw and Stuart Moore to take his place.

He opted to go with former Manchester City youngster Grimshaw, who made his first league appearance for the club in-between the sticks.

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The 23-year-old didn’t do a great deal wrong, although he was understandably nervy early on in the game.

On the decision to go with Grimshaw over Moore, Critchley told The Gazette: “It was very difficult, because they’re two good goalkeepers and good professionals.

“There were arguments for both getting picked but at the end of the day I knew I was going to make one player happy and one player unhappy.

“You can only pick one unfortunately in goal and that was the decision I made.

Dan Grimshaw got the nod over Stuart Moore on Saturday

“Grimmy didn’t have too many saves to make in the game, but he was really unfortunate with the second goal because he made a fantastic save.

“He, like the others, grew into the game and became more confident. You could see the quality he’s got.

“I’ve got no qualms with how Grimmy played at all, I thought he was assured with his distribution, made a couple of decent saves - albeit fairly routine ones - and it’s a great occasion for him to make his debut and he’ll benefit from that massively.”

Maxwell’s absence also meant Blackpool’s head coach had to pick a player to take the captain’s armband in the 31-year-old’s absence.

Marvin Ekpiteta was the man to get the nod ahead of players like Richard Keogh, Luke Garbutt and Kevin Stewart.

“It was a lovely moment for Marvin, a big moment for him,” Critchley added.

“He’s not been captain many times in his career, but he’s been outstanding since he came to the club and my job and the club we want to be is about developing players and developing people.

“We felt giving Marvin that responsibility would develop him in terms of his leadership on the pitch and he was deserving of that.”

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