We've not finished yet vows Blackpool boss Neil Critchley
Neil Critchley says qualifying for the League One play-offs won’t mean a great deal unless Blackpool finish the job and seal promotion.
The Seasiders guaranteed a top-six finish with a comfortable 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night.
It is a fabulous achievement for a Blackpool side that began the season in dreadful fashion, losing six of their opening nine games. They’ve also had to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for the majority of 2021 in a hugely congested campaign, shortened because of Covid-19.
As a result, the Seasiders have been decimated by injuries at times but never used this as an excuse.
Blackpool needed one point to get over the line on Tuesday but Ellis Simms scored in each half to secure all three.
There wasn’t a great deal of fanfare at the final whistle and head coach Critchley says that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. He told The Gazette: “Getting into the play-offs is nice but it doesn’t mean too much.
“We’re one of four in there and it’s going to be really tough. We’re going to have to be at our best to win the play-offs. It’s fantastic, but the message in the dressing room is we’ve still got a job to do and we’re not finished yet.”
After an impressive 16-game unbeaten run, the Seasiders endured a little wobble last month with back-to-back defeats against Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town.
But Critchley’s men have responded in perfect fashion, winning all three games since without conceding a goal.
The Pool boss added: “We knew there would be some twists and turns along the way. To go 16 games unbeaten in this league is an incredible effort.
“We knew at some point it would end and it would be down to us to respond.
“In the second half of the season, I thought our attacking play would get better and we’d score more goals because the understanding of the players would improve.
“We’ve scored more goals in the second half of the season and we’ve looked like scoring more, but we’ve kept a fantastic defensive record as well.
“We’re in good form, we’re scoring goals and keeping clean sheets, but we hope it can continue now.”
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