Neil Critchley: Why assistant Colin Calderwood is 'invaluable' at Blackpool

Neil Critchley has praised the input of his Blackpool assistant Colin Calderwood.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:30 pm

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The 56-year-old joined Blackpool’s coaching staff in October, his first game in the dugout being the 2-1 win away to last night’s opponents Burton Albion.

Working alongside Critchley and fellow assistant Mike Garrity, Calderwood ticks a lot of boxes for the Seasiders, according to the head coach.

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Colin Calderwood (centre) has helped Blackpool boss Neil Critchley to see the bigger picture this season

Critchley told The Gazette: “He brings that little bit of seniority and experience to the group.

“He will see the bigger picture because he can separate himself and detach himself from what is happening when you’re emotionally involved.

“Sometimes he can spot things that we don’t and he feels comfortable enough to bring that to the table.

“His little bit of advice, his knowledge and his input are invaluable for me. That’s not just on game day, that’s during the week as well.

“I can bounce things off him. I can ask him questions and with the experience he’s got from his playing career, his management career and his days as an assistant, he ticks a lot of those boxes.

“He’s been in the position I’ve been in, so he knows some of the feelings I’m experiencing and one or two comforting words from Colin can be a massive help.”

Just over a year into his senior management career, Critchley has been impressed with the quality in League One. He added: “Every team has players that can cause you problems and win their team the game.

“Wimbledon went bottom of the table on Saturday but the week before they played some really good football against us. They would have gone away thinking they deserved their point.

“Burton were bottom a few weeks ago but you look at the team and the players they’ve got. There are lots of good managers, well-prepared teams and good players in this division.

“It’s so competitive, it’s a war of attrition at times and you have to be fully prepared physically and mentally if you want to win games.

“Thankfully we’ve got good depth throughout the squad, although it does provide me with a selection headache.

“It’s important the players know they’ve got to perform well to keep their place and we’re trying to build consistency in terms of our team and how we approach the games.

“It can take a bit of time to find out your best partnerships on the pitch but I think we’re getting closer all the time. We’re not quite there yet but we’re getting closer.”

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