'This is a big win for us': Neil Critchley full of praise for his Blackpool players as they claim vital three points against MK Dons

Neil Critchley admits Blackpool’s 1-0 victory against MK Dons tonight is a “big win” for his side.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 9:56 pm

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MK Dons 0-1 Blackpool: Jerry Yates scores his 14th goal of the season as Seaside...

Neil Critchley admits Blackpool’s 1-0 victory against MK Dons tonight is a “big win” for his side.

Jerry Yates scored the only goal of the game as the Seasiders secured a third straight away victory for Critchley’s men.

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Neil Critchley congratulates matchwinner Jerry Yates at the final whistle

The Seasiders, who are unbeaten in their last six games and have lost just once in the last 10, now sit in 11th, four points off the play-offs with three games in hand to play.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. The physical shift they put in tonight was outstanding,” Critchley said.

“It has to be when you play against an outstanding football team like MK Dons, because they cause you a lot of problems and you have to show a real intelligence without the ball, and I felt we did that.

“We were waiting for that moment which came off a really good pressing situation high up the pitch and Jerry finished it off brilliantly well - it was a really composed finish to take it around the goalkeeper.

“We had to withstand a little bit of pressure in the second-half, but not too much to be fair. We got a little bit of luck when they hit the crossbar but I felt we deserved it.

“This is a big win for us.”

Having been pegged back late on in their last two outings, Blackpool fans will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when the referee blew his whistle for full-time.

Critchley was much more pleased with the manner in which his side saw out the game though, pressing high up the pitch and playing on the front foot, in contrast to the dying stages of their 1-1 draw against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.

“They changed the shape in the second-half, so they put Scott Fraser behind the two strikers,” Critchley explained to The Gazette.

“We changed our shape as well to try and block him, but it wasn’t quite working, we didn’t get the organisation right in the middle of the pitch.

“When we changed back to Kenny Dougall and Kevin Stewart with Grant Ward in front of them in a two and a one, it meant we could press a bit higher with Demetri Mitchell and CJ Hamilton from the sides.

“We then kept them away from the goal and I think that little change definitely helped and we managed to press higher up the pitch.

“We had some situations ourselves where we nearly got in, so I was really pleased with how we ended the game.”

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