'We huffed and puffed': Neil Critchley reflects on Blackpool's defeat to Nottingham Forest

Neil Critchley felt his Blackpool side “huffed and puffed” and didn’t do enough to get back in the game during today’s defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:13 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:14 pm

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Blackpool’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end at the City Ground today following goals from Brennan Johnson and Lewis Grabban.

A Jerry Yates goal - his second in as many games - sandwiched in-between the two Forest goals briefly gave Neil Critchley’s side hope.

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But they were unable to level matters for a second time, as the injury-hit Seasiders bemoaned a lack of an attacking threat without a host of key first-team players.

“I didn’t think there was a lot in the game, it was quite evenly matched,” Critchley said post-match.

“First half, there weren’t many chances at either end really. For the first 20 to 25 minutes, they had some of the ball but it’s in front of us.

“We won the ball back and got into some promising situations, but we’ve done nothing, which was really poor play from us.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

“For the goal, we don’t get pressure high up the pitch and we get done with a long diagonal. It’s a really good goal from their point of view, a goal of real quality.

“For the last 15 minutes of the half, we came into the game and started to play a bit better football, got into some promising situations and could have equalised on half-time.

“Having watched the corner back, Gary (Madine) heads it, Jerry heads it and it hits Lewis Grabban in the arm and he’s on the goalline.

“It’s a difficult one for the referee because there’s a lot of bodies in the way, but if that was in the Premier League it’s a penalty and he’s sent off, so it changes the game. We might have had a penalty in the second half with Tyreece (John-Jules) as well.

“We showed a better response in the second-half and scored a good goal, but they were more dangerous in the second-half on the counter-attack, which we knew, had spoken about and had worked on before the game.

“When we had the ball, they then become more dangerous because of the players they’ve got at the top end of the pitch and that’s how their best opportunities came.

“We were a little bit unfortunate with the second goal because Marvin Ekpiteta intercepts the cross and it deflects off him and falls straight to Grabban inside the six-yard box.

“Even then, Dan Grimshaw makes a save and it drops for the lad, so even then there was a bit of misfortune.

“After that, we huffed and puffed and we didn’t do enough. We had a bit of the ball, but we seemed to forget where the goal was and the game fizzled out, which was disappointing.”

The Blackpool fans housed behind the goal were adamant their side ought to have been given a penalty when John-Jules was brought down in the box by Joe Worrall.

At the time, the game was finely poised at 1-1, but Forest would end up scoring their winning goal just three minutes later.

“Tyreece was adamant (it was a penalty). Straight away he’s got up and gone to the referee,” Critchley added.

“I haven’t spoken to him, but you can normally tell a little bit whether it’s a half-hearted appeal or not. That looked like a genuine shot for a penalty.

“Joe Worrall has gone to ground in the box when he’s chasing back and if he hasn’t got a touch on it, then it’s a penalty.”

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