Richard Keogh: Nothing for Blackpool to fear in Championship

Richard Keogh insists Blackpool have nothing to fear stepping up to the Championship this season.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 8:00 am

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New signing Keogh has a wealth of experience in the second tier, making over 400 appearances for Coventry City, Derby County and Huddersfield Town.

Having come up against the Seasiders in League One with MK Dons last season, the defender believes Neil Critchley’s side have every reason for optimism.

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Richard Keogh ended last season at Huddersfield Town

The 34-year-old said: “There is a step-up, for sure. That’s only natural but as I said to the manager – the club has earned the right to be back in the Championship and there’s nothing to be frightened of.

“It will be a challenge for sure but it’s exciting. Yes, we might be going to Fulham, who have been in the Premier League, but ultimately this is why we’re in the game. You want to test yourself and play against the best, and it’s about going there with no fear.

“Obviously you have to respect the opponent. It’s going to be a different level and there are going to be games where you don’t dominate the ball as much as you did in League One.

“But it’s clear from how the manager sets the team up that we can be very competitive. It’s a great challenge to look forward to.”

Capped 26 times by the Republic of Ireland, Keogh has made more than 600 career appearances over 17 years.

The centre-back, who has been training with Nigel Clough’s Mansfield Town in recent weeks to keep fit, was controversially sacked by Derby in 2019.

The Rams terminated his contract for “gross misconduct”, after Keogh was involved in a car accident which left him with a serious injury.

But he appealed his sacking and won an unfair dismissal case, leaving Derby to pay £2.3m in compensation.

“After the injury, going to MK Dons was right for me,” Keogh said. “I managed to play some good football – some of that against Blackpool – and I managed to get back to Huddersfield.

“I had a good time there, I met some good people and the manager was great.

“I could have gone back but it probably wasn’t right for me.

“I decided to look at other options and just take my time because I wanted to make sure it was the right challenge and the right fit for me.

“Once I spoke to the manager and the owner, it was clear this was number one.”

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