'There's an outside chance': Neil Critchley provides promising fitness update ahead of Blackpool's derby against Preston

There’s an outside chance both Dujon Sterling and Kevin Stewart could come into contention for Blackpool’s derby against Preston tomorrow.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:05 am
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:20 am

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There’s an outside chance both Dujon Sterling and Kevin Stewart could come into contention for Blackpool’s derby against Preston tomorrow.

Sterling has missed Blackpool’s last two games through illness, while Stewart was absent at Reading on Wednesday night as a result of the knock he took to his ankle against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

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While the Seasiders have no fresh injury concerns from their remarkable comeback win against Reading in midweek, they could be handed a boost or two for the big one on Saturday.

“We’ve got no injury issues from the other night, no problems, so it will be a very similar squad to what we had at Reading the other night,” Critchley said, speaking this morning.

“Dujon trained Monday and Tuesday of this week and he’ll train again with us today. On Thursday he did a bit of conditioning.

“He was still feeling a little bit of the effects of his illness on Monday and Tuesday of this week, but we’re hopeful he’s over that now so he could come back into contention.

Dujon Sterling has missed the last two games due to illness

“It’s looking a little better with Kev too. We haven’t ruled him out for tomorrow anyway.

“I’ll see a bit more shortly as the players aren’t due in until another hour or two, so I’ll speak to the physio and the doctor and find out where he’s at.

“But there’s an outside chance he could still be involved tomorrow.”

Critchley also hasn’t ruled out throwing Owen Dale in from the start after the winger’s dream debut off the bench on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who has only just recovered from a foot problem, scored and grabbed an assist within nine minutes of entering the fray.

“I think he would be ready to start a game,” Critchley added.

“Obviously a lot of things go into consideration when we’re picking a team for any game and that will be the same for the Preston game. But Owen would be ready to start.

“He made a fantastic contribution when he came on as sub, a really good impact by scoring and assisting within a few minutes.

“He’s got off to a positive start and that’s important for new players, so he’ll be feeling good about himself.

“I wouldn’t have any hesitation playing him from the start tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, the Seasiders will still be without Chris Maxwell (quad), Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), CJ Hamilton (foot) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring).

Daniel Gretarsson could be back available having suffered mild concussion with Iceland during the recent international break.

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