Neil Critchley provides fresh update on the fitness of Daniel Gretarsson, Marvin Ekpiteta and Gary Madine ahead of Blackpool's trip to MK Dons

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley expects to have the same group of players to choose from against MK Dons on Tuesday night than he did at the weekend.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 1:40 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 2:03 pm

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The Seasiders make the trip down to Buckinghamshire tomorrow on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw against lowly AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Critchley’s men will be seeking to get back to winning ways in their bid to close the gap to the League One play-offs after playing out back-to-back draws on home turf.

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But they’re likely to be without the likes of Gary Madine once again, despite the striker closing in on a return.

“There were no real concerns after the game on Saturday, just your usual bumps and bruises, but nothing significant,” Critchley said, speaking this morning ahead of the MK Dons game.

“I wouldn’t expect the squad to be any different on Tuesday night.

“We’re hoping Gary Madine can join back into training possibly today and Daniel Gretarsson definitely will train today.

Gary Madine has missed Blackpool's last seven games with a groin injury

“It will be nice to have him back and that will be a bonus for us going forward.”

Madine’s absence has been longer than initially anticipated, having missed Pool’s last seven games with a niggling groin injury.

“Gary knows his body better than anyone, he’s an experienced player and it’s been a grumbling problem he’s had,” Critchley added.

“He can go days where he doesn’t feel anything and then one session, one movement or one strike of the ball can aggravate him a little bit.

“He did his own session on Saturday because he’s at a different stage to a lot of the other players. Sometimes he’s not ready to go into team training because what they’re doing might not be the right thing for him.

“He did a separate session with Daniel Gretarsson and he felt fine after that, so we shall assess him again and see how he feels.

“Hopefully he has no ill-effects after Saturday’s session, which was his third consecutive session back on the grass.

“We’re stepping him up and he feels better, he’s progressing more and more, so if that continues that means he’ll join back in soon which will be a big, big plus for us.”

Marvin Ekpiteta and Keshi Anderson remain longer-term concerns, although Ekpiteta is said to be progressing well.

The centre-back was an ever-present for Blackpool in the league up until suffering a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win against Rochdale on February 16.

“Marvin is doing well,” Critchley said.

“He’s going for a scan early next week just to get an update on where he’s at.

“But we’re pleased with how he’s progressing. He’s not back on the grass or anything, but the early signs of his injury have been positive for us.”

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