'Tactically we were very good': Neil Critchley lauds his Blackpool players as win over Peterborough moves Seasiders into League One play-offs
Neil Critchley felt his Blackpool side were tactically superb in their 3-1 win against Peterborough United.
The Seasiders completed a league double over Darren Ferguson’s side to climb into the League One play-offs for the first time this season.
Jerry Yates got them off to a perfect start, rifling home from 25 yards inside the first minute.
Pool dominated the opening half, but they were cruelly pegged back in stoppage-time when Joe Ward volleyed home in off the post.
But the Seasiders responded superbly, Yates completing his brace from the penalty spot before Luke Garbutt completed the scoring with his second goal in three games.
“I enjoyed watching my team play tonight,” Critchley said.
“We obviously got off to a fantastic start thanks to a great strike from Jerry.
“We were very, very good in the first-half. We limited them to virtually nothing until the last kick of the half, which was a bit of a sickener to be honest with you because they hadn’t been near the goal up until that point.
“Tactically we were very good, some of the football we played and the physical shift the players put in was outstanding.
“It didn’t affect us though at half-time. We were calm, we knew what we had to do and we came out and started the second-half very well.
“We got two goals when we were in the ascendancy and that’s something we haven’t done enough in our home games recently.
“We had to withstand a bit of pressure near the end, but we limited them to very few half chances, so I can’t fault the effort and the way we played tonight, we were terrific.”
Yates’ two goals, his 15th and 16th of the season in all competitions, continued the striker’s impressive recent form.
“Every facet of his game was on show tonight,” Critchley added.
“It’s a great strike from outside the box for his goal, but he was also tireless in his running, running in behind, collecting the ball.
“He didn’t score (against Oxford) on Saturday but I thought he gave two good centre-halves a real problem and he did that again tonight.
“He’s full of confidence and when he gets in front of goal I expect him to score.
“We have to play a little bit differently at the moment, we’re asking Jerry to stretch the game for us and give us some room to Elliot (Embleton). He did that extremely well.”
While keen to stress he wasn’t complaining about the display of referee Bobby Madley, a former Premier League official, Critchley admits he was left a little confused by a couple of his decisions.
Posh keeper Christy Pym bizarrely escaped punishment in the first-half despite handling the ball outside the box, while Ethan Hamilton was only shown a yellow card despite appearing to deliberately handle Jordan Thorniley’s goalbound effort, which led to Pool’s spot kick.
“The goalkeeper was clearly out of his box and I thought that was classed as deliberate handball,” Pool’s head coach said.
“He’s at the corner, the side of the box so he’s not in front of goal, but I’d expect something for that - I’m not saying a red card.
“But then it’s a handball for the penalty and it’s in front of the goal, so I would have thought that would have stopped a goalscoring opportunity. The referee said there were enough bodies behind him to say it wasn’t.
“I think we’ve been a bit harshly done by in those decisions, but I’m not complaining.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here