Neil Critchley sends message to Sonny Carey and the players on the periphery of the Blackpool team

Neil Critchley has told Sonny Carey and the other players currently out of Blackpool’s team to make sure they’re ready for when they get their chance.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 10:36 am

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Carey produced a Man of the Match display last week during Blackpool’s remarkable 3-2 comeback win against Reading.

But the 20-year-old, who was making his first league start against the Royals, was dropped back down to the bench on Saturday for the 2-0 derby win against Preston North End.

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The man who took his place in the side, Gary Madine, took full advantage as he scored Blackpool’s second goal and his first since January following an injury-plagued 2021.

When asked about his decision to drop Carey, Critchley told The Gazette: “The players understand I will change the team if I feel it’s the right thing to do.

“Sonny was excellent on Wednesday, but for him to go again in this intense type of atmosphere would have been a big ask.

“I felt it was the right thing to do to put Gary on and you live and die sometimes by the decisions you make.

Carey came off the bench during Blackpool's derby win against Preston

“If you win, people say you’ve made the right decisions and if you lose, you’ve made the wrong ones, but it’s not always as easy as that.”

The Seasiders, who boast a strong squad filled with depth, have plenty of other players currently on the periphery.

Players like Dujon Sterling, Luke Garbutt, Owen Dale and Tyreece John-Jules will be looking to force their way into the starting line-up for Saturday’s away game against Sheffield United.

Stuart Moore, Oliver Casey, Daniel Gretarsson, Reece James, Callum Connolly and the returning CJ Hamilton are others who will be desperate for game time.

One man who has been rewarded for his patience is James Husband, who has performed well in his last two outings having replaced Garbutt at left-back.

The 27-year-old was on top form against Preston at the weekend, rivalling the exceptional Marvin Ekpiteta for Man of the Match.

“I don’t think Marvin put a foot wrong, I thought he was faultless,” Critchley said.

“I like their centre forward (Emil Riis), he’s a good player and I saw him as a youngster coming through at Derby. He’s a real handful.

“Marvin kept him quite quiet all game though.

“We knew we could get some success down the sides of the pitch and we did, especially early on in the game. That’s why they changed their shape. But by then we had scored.

“Hubby has come in for the last two games and he’s played well, but that’s not to take anything away from anyone else. We’ve got a good group of players.

“The players who are not in the team are disappointed not to play, but they understand it’s a long season and they need to be ready for their opportunity when it comes, which it will.”

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