Neil Critchley reveals Blackpool's season could actually get underway as early as this month

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Neil Critchley has revealed Blackpool’s campaign could get underway as early as the end of August.
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The Seasiders’ preparations for the 2020/21 League One season, which begins on September 12, began with a 4-0 friendly win at Southport on Saturday.

Critchley’s men return to training this week ahead of their second friendly next Saturday, the details of which will be confirmed in the coming days.

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However, Critchley told The Gazette there’s a chance Blackpool could officially begin competitive action in just 19 days.

When asked about the club’s pre-season plans, Critchley said: “Our plans are more or less finalised now, but we still have to be flexible because of areas in the country going into lockdown and things like that.

“We were due to play a game this month on August 29 but if you draw a Championship club in the Carabao Cup then they will play it on that date because it’s before the international break.

“You just have to be ready to adapt all the time, but we’ve got our plans in place and we’ve got our games pencilled in.

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Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley during Saturday's friendly at SouthportBlackpool head coach Neil Critchley during Saturday's friendly at Southport
Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley during Saturday's friendly at Southport

“But we have to be ready for the unexpected and try to prepare as best as we can.”

Current plans from the EFL have pencilled in the first round to take place prior to the start date of the new domestic campaign.

It’s believed EFL chiefs hope to hold the first round of the competition on September 5, when England take on Iceland in the UEFA Nations League.

No date has been set for the Carabao Cup first round draw as of yet.

There were suggestions during lockdown that the Carabao Cup could be left out of next season's schedule, but the EFL are desperate for the income it generates.