Neil Critchley says Blackpool squad is stretched for FA Cup test

Neil Critchley admits his Blackpool squad is becoming more stretched after confirming two more players have entered the treatment room.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 8:00 am

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Grant Ward replaced MJ Williams in midfield for Tuesday’s 1-0 home win against Wigan Athletic.

Williams underwent a scan before the game after picking up the knock in the weekend victory at Burton Albion.

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Blackpool celebrate Sullay Kaikai's goal against Wigan which brought about their first back-to-back wins of the season

Critchley said: “He went over in the first half and was heavily bandaged around his elbow in the second half.

“He went for a scan and we’re waiting for the results but he’s got quite a bit of swelling around his elbow joint. We should know more in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Oliver Sarkic also had a scan on Tuesday after picking up an injury during training on Sunday.

Critchley added: “We were doing some shooting at the end and he felt something in his knee, so he’s gone for a scan as well. We’re waiting but fingers crossed we get good news.”

The pair join Luke Garbutt, Matty Virtue and Keshi Anderson in the physio’s room, while Dan Ballard and Ethan Robson remain suspended for Sunday’s FA Cup first round tie away at Eastbourne Borough.

Ben Woodburn, meanwhile, continues to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

“We are getting quite stretched now, so this next week is important,” Critchley said. “I’m hoping I get some good news from the physio that no-one has picked anything up from the Wigan game.

“We need to get some bodies back from injuries, suspension and Ben with Covid. If we do, then the squad will look much healthier after the Leeds game in the EFL Trophy next Wednesday.”

There’s no time for Blackpool to rest on their laurels as they make the long trip to the south coast for a tie that will be televised live on BT Sport.

Asked if he will select a strong team, Critchley said: “Of course, definitely. I’ve been quite clear from the first moment I joined that we want to win every game and we approach every game to win.

“We want to do well in all of the competitions because we want to breed a mentality and a way of working where we go to win every game.

“We’re under no illusions – it’s going to be a tough game away from home. It’s a potential banana skin, it’s on the television and it’s all set up for one of those classic FA Cup ties.

“It’s up to us to go and do our job properly.”

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