New boss Michael Appleton outlines Blackpool’s main objective for first season in charge

Maintaining Blackpool’s competitive streak in the Championship is Michael Appleton’s main objective next season.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 7:00 am

Read More

Read More
Picture gallery from Michael Appleton's unveiling as Blackpool's new head coach

That’s according to the club’s new head coach, who takes the reins at Bloomfield Road following Neil Critchley’s surprise decision to become Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Aston Villa.

Critchley had the Seasiders performing well in their first season back in the Championship, finishing in 16th and 23 points clear of the bottom three.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Before his sudden exit, Critchley had warned of a possible “second season syndrome” and knew quality additions would have to be made to his squad if Pool were to progress.

With recruitment yet to fully get underway, Appleton knows there’s work to be done before the campaign begins at the end of July.

“It’s such a competitive league,” the new man said, having been asked what Blackpool’s aim is next season.

“From our point of view, we want to remain as competitive as we possibly can and over the next two, three and beyond seasons, the closer you get to the top half of the table, the better opportunity you have of getting into the top six. But first and foremost, we want to stay competitive.

Appleton returns to the Bloomfield Road hotseat after a 65-day spell 10 years ago

“It’s no different to a lot of the other leagues really. I only look at League One last season and there were probably only 12 clubs who thought they belonged in the top six and six clubs who thought they should be in the top two. It’s probably similar in the Championship.

“Any team that finishes between 13th and 24th probably, at the start of the season, know they could find themselves in a bit of trouble and could find themselves in those bottom places.

“But the reality is, we’ve got a club now that has good confidence in the group. I think there are certain players within the group last year who have bedded into Championship football and have found their level and now understand the level.

“If they can kick on this season with a little bit more quality added to the squad and a little bit more options in certain areas, then there’s no reason why we can’t be as competitive this season as we were last season.”